As the days grow longer and the temperature rises, our attention shifts away from things like roaring fireplaces and toward more outdoor-oriented activities. However, you shouldn't completely disregard your fireplace while summer is approaching. In reality, there are a few crucial things you must do to get your fireplace ready for the summer. Continue reading to learn exactly what those are.
7 steps to prepare your outdoor fireplace for summer
The open fireplace, which burns solid fuel or wood is the most conventional type of outdoor fireplace. Nothing quite compares to the pleasure of sitting by an open fire on a beautiful day. However, it’s important to adequately prepare your outdoor fireplace for the summer. Our top suggestions for prepping your open fireplace for summer are listed below.
1. Remove the ashes
The ashes and remains of burned fuels or wood from the fireplace's base should be cleared away before you do anything else. To avoid getting dust on your furniture or grass, make sure you've spread out enough sheets or blankets before doing this.
You'll need a lot of old sheets for this project, but you'll also need an ash shovel, a bucket, and possibly an ash vacuum, which will make the process easier. Wearing a face mask is advised because you don't want to breathe in any old ash particles while doing this. Once the ash has been gathered, it can be thrown away in an ordinary trash can or added to a compost pile.
2. Sweep the chimney
The best seasons to get your chimney cleaned are the spring and early summer, because these are frequently the months when chimney sweeps are most accessible. It is worthwhile to request that the chimney sweep inspect your chimney while it is being swept. Any parts of your chimney that require repair will be noticeable by a skilled chimney sweep.
3. Repair the chimney
If the chimney sweep identifies any portions of your chimney that need repair, schedule them for the early summer months when you won't be lighting fires as much. Your chimney sweep should be able to guide you if you're unsure of who to contact to handle repairs.
4. Add a chimney cap
If your outdoor fireplace doesn't already have a cap, summer is the ideal time to install one. Animals look for protected outdoor spaces, like chimneys or fireplaces, to build their nests in during the warmer months. Without a chimney cover, your chimney serves as a warm and convenient home for birds, raccoons, and even feral cats.
Your fireplace may also be a suitable nesting location for bees and other flying insects. In order to keep out these smaller insects, a chimney cap with an integrated top-sealing damper is required. The top damper uses a gasket seal closing, similar to a refrigerator door seal, to block insect entrance to your chimney. The majority of chimney caps are easy to install.
5. Keep it dry
To reduce the amount of moisture that can be absorbed in the stone, make sure to cover your fireplace as much as possible in between uses. This will extend the life of your fireplace and minimize any cracking that may occur as a result of rapid water expansion and contraction. Once you are certain that your fireplace is functioning normally, light a fire, invite some family and friends over, and take advantage of those lovely summer evenings.
6. Start small
As a general rule, be modest when you start your first fire of the season. A modest fire can assist in drying out the appliance without causing it to overheat and crack. It can also help identify any troublesome locations in the flue, should smoking occur as a result.
7. Install a top mounted damper
You might notice aromas coming from your fireplace when the air becomes hotter and more humid. Even the greatest chimney sweeps cannot remove every last microscopic particle of creosote and soot from your fireplace. For instance, bricks and mortar have pores so they may contain creosote and smells.
When your fireplace warms you in the winter, the heated air rises up the chimney, carrying any creosote scents up and away from you. However, compared to dry air, the summer's humid and wet air is heavier. The smells from your chimney may accompany this heavier air as it descends your chimney.
What is the solution? You should seal your chimney top with a top-mounted damper to prevent humid air from lingering around through the chimney. A chain that descends through the chimney and enters the top of the fireplace fire box is used to open the top sealing damper, while the fireplace is in use.
Cleaning tips for outdoor fireplaces
Use creosote sweeping logs frequently if you have a wood-burning fireplace to help dislodge creosote that can accumulate in your fireplace chimney and flue. Check the thickness of the creosote before lighting your fireplace for the season. If it is greater than 1/8th inch, wait to use it until it has been fully cleaned.
Here are tips to clean a wood-burning fire pit:
Regularly clean the fireplace and get rid of accumulated ash.
Every time you use the wood-burning fire pit, sweep the trash, soot, and leaves from it with a broom or an outdoor wet-dry vacuum.
The fireplace should be scrubbed inside and out with a brush and warm, soapy water.
To maintain your fireplace looking its best, we advise performing a thorough cleaning once a year.
Cut back adjacent foliage as soon as you see it starting to outgrow its space.
Keep grass and weeds away from the fireplace bricks because if plant roots get into the stone's natural fissures, they could damage the bricks.
We recommend getting your fireplace cleaned by a professional on a regular basis to prevent any fire hazards.
Here is advice to clean and maintain a gas fireplace:
Make sure the gas is switched off before cleaning a gas fireplace.
If your fireplace has an exhaust fan, make sure to check it frequently to make sure it's working properly.
Clean burners with a soft-bristle brush or a towel to keep them soot-free.
To prevent voiding your warranty, always adhere to manufacturer instructions.
If you won't be using the fireplace for a few months at a time, always switch off the pilot light.
We recommend getting your outdoor fireplace examined and maintained by a professional at least once a year to keep safe and prevent any fire threats.
Shop for outdoor fireplaces and accessories
Those memorable seemingly endless summer evenings are best spent in front of an outdoor fire. An outdoor fireplace, or a patio fireplace, is a fantastic way to make more use of your outdoor space, whether it is a free-standing gas or wood fireplace. S'mores are just as popular in the winter as they are in the summer.
Feu Ardent sells a variety of outdoor fireplaces that are all built in Quebec, have distinctive outdoor fireplace designs and are durable. Our outdoor fireplace models allow you to cook and enjoy an outdoor barbecue, using fireplace accessories in addition to providing you with all the warmth of the flames for your evenings by the fire.
You are sure to find a fireplace that meets your needs, whether you enjoy cooking with charcoal or right on the embers of the fire. To elevate the experience, you can also purchase accessories such as a cast-iron grill, a charcoal holder, etc.