A cozy fire crackling away in the fireplace is not only relaxing, but it can be an excellent way to help potential buyers envision themselves enjoying this special feature. Of course, when homeowners want to highlight this amenity, it’s important to make sure that the fireplace is properly maintained. Here are some tips that can help keep your home safe and comfortable.
1. Schedule a chimney inspection. Your chimney should be inspected and cleaned at least once each year by a company that specializes in this type of service. A dirty chimney poses a major fire risk.
2. Before the heating season begins, it’s a good idea to make a thorough inspection of your chimney. Check the firebrick for any bricks that are loose or for signs of cracks or missing mortar. It’s imperative that the right materials are used for chimney repairs; this is a job that’s best left to an experienced professional.
3. Inspect the damper and chimney cap. You certainly don’t want to find out the hard way that your damper is stuck or that there is an obstruction in your chimney. Additionally, protective screening should be used with the chimney cap in order to keep out birds, squirrels and other pests.
4. Burn only seasoned hardwoods. Burning hardwoods that have been cut and stored for a minimum of 6 months can help reduce the amount of creosote that will build up in your chimney. This is an important factor in helping to prevent chimney fires.
5. Clear away tree limbs. If trees have grown over the summer and are encroaching on the chimney, it’s time for a little pruning.
If you’ll be selling your home during the winter months, be sure to ask your real estate professional for other tips that can help make your home more desirable for potential buyers.