If you enjoy a gas, electric or wood burning fire in your home, you’ll understand how frustrating it can be when it gets damaged and taken out of action. Whether you use your fireplace for heating your home or simply to enjoy a cheery blaze on a winter’s evening, ensuring that it’s in good working order at all times is essential for both the safety of your household and the condition of your home.
Whilst it is possible to do some DIY fireplace maintenance, it’s always best to rely on the experts. A professional fireplace company will offer a comprehensive fireplace service which encompasses a range of necessary services, whatever your circumstances. Calling in the experts will not only ensure that your fireplace is in good condition, but it will also save you money in the long run. Below, we take a look at the wide range of services that are provided by most professional fireplace companies.
When you think of chimney sweeps, you probably picture a character from Oliver Twist– a young, soot-covered boy running through Victorian streets. However, chimney sweeping is not a profession of the past; in fact, chimney sweeps are modern, professional tradesmen and are essential if you have any type of fireplace or stove in your property. Along with extensive flue cleaning services, a modern chimney sweep can also carry out safety inspections inside your chimney to check there is no damage developing.
When it comes to cleaning your chimney, if you have plenty of time, patience and the necessary equipment, it is possible to clean it yourself. However, it can be a messy and potentially dangerous task, not to mention time-consuming and physically draining. For this reason, we’d always advise leaving the job of sweeping your chimney to the experts.
Here are a few signs that your fireplace needs cleaning:
Build up of creosote: This is when the wood and fuel that doesn’t turn to ash when burned builds up in your chimney flue. When allowed to thicken, creosote can become a fire hazard.
Smoke filling the room: If excessive smoke pours into the room when your fire is lit, this could be a sign that your chimney is clogged or blocked.
Bad odours when it’s not in use: This is another sign of creosote buildup. The collection of soot and non-combustible materials can cause an unpleasant smell in your chimney.
Soot covering furniture or dropping in the fireplace: If soot is dropping back into your fireplace, this is a sign that it needs a good sweeping. Equally, if you notice soot developing in the room where your fireplace is located, this is another symptom of a blocked or clogged chimney.
Slow or poorly burning fire: A blocked fireplace will take far longer to ignite and when it does will burn slowly and inefficiently due to reduced air flow.
Dark smoke coming out of the chimney crown: if the smoke coming out of your chimney is thick and dark, this could be a sign that there is a blockage or creosote buildup in your flue.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s time to call your local chimney sweep to tend to your fireplace. However, it’s a good idea to get your chimney swept routinely at least once a year, or prior to or after a period of prolonged disuse.
The necessary training and experience of a professional chimney sweep not only guarantees an efficient clean, but also a professional opinion over the condition of your fireplace. Whilst sweeping your chimney, they’ll do some routine safety checks to ensure there aren’t any underlying and more serious problems. You’ll have the peace of mind that any issues with your fireplace haven’t been overlooked. If a problem is unearthed, the next necessary service you’ll need to take advantage of is chimney repair.
If a problem is discovered in your chimney during a safety inspection, it’s essential that you get it seen to as soon as possible by a specialist. Whether you have a gas fire, a wood burning stove or even an electric fireplace, you’ll need specialist services to ensure any repairs are fixed safely and efficiently.
Whilst some problems can be fixed yourself – for example, small cracks in the fireback – anything more serious requires the trained hand of a professional. Furthermore, they’ll notice things that the untrained eye may not recognise, such as freeze-thaw weathering. As with all things, the earlier a problem is identified, the easier and quicker it will be to fix.
Here are a few signs that your fireplace needs repair:
Efflorescence or white staining: If you notice any light discolouration in your fireplace, this is an indication of excess moisture in the masonry of your chimney. If left unrepaired, your chimney will start to deteriorate prematurely.
Rust: There shouldn’t be rust on your firebox or damper, so if there is it’s a clear sign there’s excess moisture in the chimney. It could also be a sign of cracked flue tiles.
Damaged mortar joints: If your mortar is starting to deteriorate, this enables moisture to seep in which will accelerate the deterioration process even further. In cold weather, the trapped moisture can freeze, which may even cause your entire chimney to collapse.
Shaling: Shaling is a term that refers to thin slices of chimney tile collecting in the fireplace and is a sure sign that the flue is damaged. Flue lining is essential to the safe operation of a fireplace and chimney, so if shaling occurs, your fireplace will not work as it should.
Spalling: Spalling is a similar process to shaling, but occurs on the outside of your chimney. You’ll know if your chimney is spalling if there is crumbled masonry at the bottom of your chimney. The brick, concrete or stone can peel off, pop out or flake off- a sure sign that your chimney requires maintenance.
Damaged wallpaper or paint: If the walls near your chimney show visible damage, for example, the paintwork is discoloured or the wallpaper is peeling and bubbling, this could signify excess moisture in your chimney.
Chimney crown damage: This probably isn’t a symptom that you’ll notice yourself as it’s only visible from the roof of your property. If the chimney crown is cracked or damaged, moisture can seep in, which then causes spalling or shaling.
If you come across any of the above problems with your fireplace, you should contact a professional as soon as possible. However, by investing in regular sweeping and safety inspections, any emerging damages or problems should have already been noted by your chimney sweep.
Chimney sweeping, safety inspections and chimney repairs are the core services that every good fireplace specialist will offer, however, some companies offer an even wider range of services. Here at Fireplace Superstore, we’re proud to offer a comprehensive set of services. Read on to find out what these are.
Disconnecting or connecting a gas fire to the gas supply at your property is most definitely a job that should be left to a trained and experienced professional. If you’ve just moved into a property and you wish to install a gas fire, or perhaps you want to get rid of a gas fire in your home, you’ll require expert gas connection or disconnection services.
For disconnecting the gas, a professional Gas Safe engineer will cap off the supply and then carry out any necessary brickwork to cover up the fire. On the other hand, in order to install a gas fireplace, they’ll ensure that a gas supply is connected safely to the fireplace and functions properly once installed.
A company that offers a gas disconnection and connection service will most likely also offer comprehensive gas fire services, so it’s good to keep them in mind to look after your gas fire throughout its lifetime.
If you’re looking to bring some warmth and joy into your home, installing a new fireplace could be the perfect addition. A specialist fireplace company will provide every type of fireplace or stove available so that you can make the most suitable choice for your home and requirements. If you’re looking for something which requires less maintenance, why not opt for a gas or electric fire? These can be installed as inset, outset, hole in the wall or hang on the wall fireplaces, offering both traditional and contemporary styles.
However, if you want something more rustic, why not consider a wood burning or multi-fuel stove? Whilst these require a little more looking after, the overall finish of a real fire in your home is unparalleled.
Along with installing almost any type of fireplace or stove you could ask for, a comprehensive fireplace service will also include supplying various fireplace accessories. For example:
Fire surrounds: Available in a range of materials including limestone, micro marble, pure marble and wood.
Hearths and back panels: Available in various styles and materials, such as cast iron, granite, limestone, micro marble and slate.
Fireplace accessories: Including stove pipes, cleaning and protection products, fireguards, frets, baskets and fans.
Whether you’re looking for a log burner service or an electric stove service, here at Fireplace Superstore we can provide you with the service you need to ensure that the heart of your home burns brightly, efficiently and safely at all times. From the initial design stages to the finishing touches of your fireplace installation, our expert team are on hand to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly. We’re also available after your fireplace or stove is installed, offering all of the above services to ensure that your chimney stays clean, unclogged and ultimately, safe.
At Fireplace Superstore, we’re proud to offer reliable and affordable fireplace and wood burner services so that our customers can enjoy their fireplaces all year round. No problem is too big or small for our expert team, so if you suspect something isn’t quite right with your fire or stove, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.