Even though proper landscaping can reduce the need for central air conditioning use by up to 50%, sometimes you may want some more heat from your backyard. Outdoor fireplaces and firepits are the perfect addition to any property, particularly if you want to spend more time outside this summer. But to take full advantage of your outdoor fireplace design, you'll need to keep it in good working order. This will require a bit of maintenance on your part, even if you work with the best landscape contractors for outdoor fireplaces Delaware has to offer. To that end, we've provided some important upkeep tips for you to follow.
- Use the right wood: If you've invested in one of the different types of wood-burning fireplaces Delaware landscapers can offer, you might have assumed thatany wood will work well. But actually, you shouldn't be using random branches and tree limbs from your backyard. If you were to try to burn softwoods (like pine) or green wood, you'll end up with smoke and sparks due to their high water content. This can actually be a safety hazard for your friends and family. You need to make sure to burn only clean, dry wood. Stick to oak, maple, and other hardwoods and be careful about how you store it. Storing wood directly on the ground can cause this material to absorb moisture and attract insects -- neither of which you'll want to deal with.
- Clean it regularly: This may seem like an obvious tip, but you'd be surprised by how many homeowners let their fireplace cleaning fall by the wayside. Cleaning out ashes and other debris will allow you to have long-lasting and safe fires all summer long. Whether your unit is gas-powered or wood-burning, you'll need to clean out debris, ashes, spiderwebs, leaves, coals, or water you find before lighting your fireplace each time. You can typically do this simply by sweeping with a hand-held brush or broom, a metal scoop, and a metal bucket. Be sure not to utilize any flammable materials when cleaning your fireplace. Keep in mind that this debris can actually be used as compost -- so it doesn't have to go to waste. You may also consider asking your landscapers to install a cover or door for your outdoor fireplace, when available, to reduce water accumulation and keep out snow and ice in the off-season.
- Don't neglect the chimney: Although firepits don't typically have a chimney attached, outdoor fireplaces will. It's important to clean out this spot as well, since the chimney interior is actually more vulnerable to damage than other areas of your fireplace. How often you clean your chimney will largely depend on how frequently you use your outdoor fireplace and what kind of wood you use in it. You should clean out your chimney at least once a year with a wire brush, though you may need to clean it more frequently if you note residue buildup.
When you go to all the trouble of installing one of the highest quality fireplaces Delaware residents could ask for, you'll want to do everything you can to keep it clean and well-maintained. If you have any questions or are ready to have your own outdoor fireplace or firepit installed, please contact us today.