It’s easy to agree that the warmth and beauty of a real wood fire is one of the greatest enjoyments of cold weather.
Here are a couple of interesting facts about fireplaces. One that I was aware of and one I found surprising.
1: A wood burning fireplace is consistently listed as a top three feature by home-buyers. The two that are listed higher are kitchens, and deck/covered porch areas. Surprising.
2: Inspectors and professional chimney sweeps list fireplaces as one of the most neglected routine/yearly maintenance issues. Not surprising.
Some of this neglect may be due to lack of knowledge about fireplace safety or rationalizing the amount of use versus the cost of maintenance. Unfortunately, like many other maintenance issues, waiting or procrastinating can lead to a much larger problem. Which can include extensive mortar repair, more time and more money to clean, or the worst case scenario – fire in the chimney. Yikes.
Do your self a favor and get your fireplace ready for winter. And if you are buying a house, make sure the fireplace/chimney is inspected thoroughly. Discovering, after you buy a house, that the fireplace needs to be totally overhauled usually leads to the fireplace becoming a decoration. That would be a real shame.
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