Once ice begins to melt and grass starts to peer through the snow-covered ground, our mood instantly lifts because this means one thing: It’s almost Spring. The feeling of renewal is a warm welcome from winter’s bitter cold grip for those of us in the Chicago area. Soon, we will be able to turn off the heat, open the windows and enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. However, the budding spring tide means that our Fireplaces will be turned off and put away until fall.
Does this mean you leave your fireplace totally alone until then? We say no way! Spring is the best time to start maintenance on your fireplace and chimney after a long winter’s use because it could really use the TLC.
Our experts suggest this season as an ideal time to schedule a cleaning and inspection because harsh winters can cause damage that can get worse with time. Think of the inside and outside of your chimney the same way that you think of asphalt roads. After a season of relentless ice and snow, the weather warms and the roads contract, causing potholes and cracks. The same thing can happen to your fireplace and it will get worse if ignored. Cracks in your fireplace can also cause water to leak in and cause water damage as well. The cost of repairs could end up costing your family thousands.
To avoid these headaches, the best thing you can do is ensure you are doing an annual inspection and cleaning to ensure your fireplace and chimney are in proper working order. You can click here to get a free quote.
Are you worried about the smell that gets left behind? An easy tip for eliminating the odor left behind from a season of burning wood is to place a box of baking soda inside the fireplace. Baking Soda is an age-old ingredient that can be used in almost a million different ways. The best thing about it is that it’s cheap, natural, and you probably have some lying around. Unlike commercial odor absorbent, baking soda does more than mask smells, it absorbs them! Placing a box in your fireplace should take care of any lingering odors and keep your home smelling spring fresh.
Shut the damper
Since the fireplace isn’t going to be used for a while, you should close the fireplace damper. The damper’s function is to allow air to flow in and out of the house. Although it’s necessary to keep it open when the fireplace is in use, closing it when your fireplace is out of use is a great way to conserve energy.
Ash as Fertilizer
Wondering how you should get rid of your leftover ash? One method is to use is it as fertilizer! Ash is an excellent source of lime and potassium which provide plants essential nutrients that they need to thrive. Spread the ash evenly when the ground is dry because lack of moisture is important during application. If it gets too wet, it will lose some it’s nutrients. You can safely spread up to 20 pounds (about a five-gallon bucket of ash) per 1,000 square feet of soil, or five pounds per 100 square feet per year safely.