As the weather starts to warm up, thoughts naturally turn to the outdoors. Most of us are eager to get back outside after spending so much time inside, but before you can truly enjoy the gorgeous backyard on your West Bloomfield, MI, property, there is some cleanup and preparation that needs to happen. Among the top priorities should be the cleaning and maintenance of your outdoor fireplace.
Why the Outdoor Fireplace Needs Attention
Any fireplace in general, but perhaps an outdoor fireplace in particular, takes on wear and tear from constant use. An outdoor fireplace has to weather the elements while operating well. You want to ensure that your fireplace is always both safe and functional, with no underlying issues to ruin the enjoyment of your fire feature.
Cleaning Focus Areas
Wood-burning fireplaces can accumulate leaves, bits of branches, and other debris that fall into it during the cold months. Covering the chimney and fireplace opening would have prevented snow and ice from collecting inside. Several steps are essential before you can use your outdoor fireplace again.
For a wood-burning fireplace, any cobwebs, debris, and old wood pieces from the fire box need to be removed. Mild soap, warm water, and a stiff brush can clean away any residue from the winter. Also check to make sure that no bushes have grown over any portion of the fireplace, and that no vines or weeds have infiltrated any cracks. Trimming back any branches increases the safe use of your outdoor fire feature.
Gas fireplaces have additional maintenance needs. The burners should be checked for clogs or debris or rust that might hinder the flames. The burners can be cleaned with a soft brush to clear away any small blockage of the burner openings. And the fan and any other components should be tested to make sure that they are still working correctly. Also test the starter for any rust or disrepair.
Image Source - Unilock
Don’t Forget the Chimney
The chimney can harbor a build-up of creosote from the wood that you’ve burned. Check the chimney, and if the creosote is more than 1/8 inch thick, the outdoor fireplace needs to be professionally cleaned. Not attending to the creosote build-up can create the perfect conditions for a fire hazard. Any build-up on the flue should also be removed before using your outdoor fireplace again.
Advantages of an Outdoor Fireplace
Aside from the fact that an outdoor fire feature adds undeniable ambiance and warmth to your landscape, anyone who visits is drawn to a fire. Chatting with friends and family among the fire’s intimate setting can strengthen relationships. It is a wonderful way to increase the hours that you can spend outside, because it brings light and heat for relaxing after dark. And no one, young or old, can resist the fun of cooking s’mores at the fire.
Consult a Professional
Because you shouldn’t have to worry about an unplanned fire from an issue you can’t see within your fireplace, consulting with hardscape maintenance professionals is a must. They can keep your fireplace running with peak efficiency and safety. In addition to a general cleaning that combats the effects of the rough Michigan weather, they can take on any necessary repairs. In turn, you get peace of mind and a full season of enjoying your outdoor fireplace.