Dorset Chimney Sweep - Bournemouth, Poole, Wimborne Chimney Sweep Blandford Christchurch

The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust

The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust
Professional chimney sweep service for Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch & Dorset

Monday 25 March 2024

Summer Woodburner checks: A Step-by-Step Guide (Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Dorset)

As the sun warms and spring approaches, your trusty woodburner can take a well-deserved break. But before it sits idle for the warmer months, proper shut down prevents issues come next winter. Here's a step-by-step guide to prepping your woodburner for summer storage:

1. Let the Fire Die Out Completely:

  • Ensure all embers are extinguished. Never clean a woodburner with residual heat.

2. Deep Clean and Ash Removal:

  • Let the woodburner cool completely.
  • Remove ashes carefully using a metal ash bucket.
  • Tip: Dispose of ashes properly in a designated metal container away from flammable materials.

3. Professional Chimney Cleaning:

  • Strongly recommend a professional chimney sweep for a thorough cleaning. They have the training, equipment, and safety gear to remove creosote buildup and ensure proper venting for next season.
  • Avoid cleaning the chimney yourself. This can be dangerous and may not remove all the built-up debris.

4. Inspect and Protect:

  • Look for any cracks, damaged firebricks, or loose components. Schedule repairs if necessary.
  • Check Door Seal and Door Rope: While the door seal itself is good, inspect the door rope around the door opening. Over time, this rope can deteriorate and become less effective. If the rope feels brittle or shows signs of wear, replace it with a high-temperature resistant door rope specifically designed for woodburners.
  • Inspect Fire Cement: Examine the fire cement around the stove pipe connection and any other areas where it's used. Cracks or gaps in the cement can indicate a potential leak. If you notice any issues, replace the fire cement with a high-temperature resistant product suitable for woodburners.
  • Firebrick Condition: Check the firebricks for any cracks, spalling (flaking), or loose bricks. Damaged firebricks can affect the efficiency and safety of your woodburner. Replace any compromised firebricks.
  • Inspect for Warping: Carefully examine metal components like the fire grate, throat plate, and baffle plate for any warping or deformation. These components are crucial for proper airflow and combustion efficiency. If you notice warping, consult your chimney sweep to assess if repairs or replacements are necessary.

5. Check the Glass:
  • While you're inspecting the interior, take a close look at the glass. Ensure the seal around the glass is in good condition, not showing any gaps or signs of deterioration. A compromised glass seal can lead to smoke leakage and reduced efficiency.
  • Glass Cleaning (Optional):Once cool, use a specific wood-burning glass cleaner to remove soot and smoke stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the glass.

6. Exterior Chimney Inspection:

  • Time to Step Outside! With a clear view of your chimney stack and binoculars at hand if you have them, perform a thorough visual inspection.
  • Check the Joints and Flashing/Crown: Look for any cracks or gaps in the mortar joints between the chimney bricks. Also, examine the flashing (the metal sheet that diverts water around the base of the chimney) and crown (the topmost part of the chimney) for signs of deterioration or damage to the cement. While minor cracks might be repairable, extensive damage may necessitate reflashing or crown repairs.
  • Check the Stack for Straightness: While you're looking up, ensure your chimney stack isn't leaning at an angle. A leaning chimney can be a serious safety hazard and should be addressed by a reputable builder.
  • Inspect the Chimney Pot: Carefully examine the chimney pot (the capped structure at the top of the chimney) for cracks, loose bricks, or signs of damage.
  • Cowl and Bird Guard Check: Examine the cowl (cap) on top of the chimney for signs of rust, damage, or loose fittings. Also, check the bird guard (if you have one) to ensure the wiring isn't deteriorating and there's no significant build-up of soot. Look for any blockages caused by debris such as leaves or nesting attempts a clogged bird guard can impede proper venting.

Summer is a Great Time For:

  • Booking Repairs: With the woodburner out of service, summer is an ideal time to schedule any repairs identified during the inspection. This ensures your woodburner is fully functional before the cold weather arrives. 
  • Don't wait until Autumn! Text Jim Chim-in-ey on 07837672548 today to schedule a chimney sweep and discuss any repairs your woodburner may need.

Bournemouth Chimney Sweep
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This article was written by Jim Chim-in-ey

An insurance approved chimney sweep 

JC sweeps all open fires, wood burners and stoves.
Covering Bournemouth, Poole, Blandford Forum, Wimborne, Christchurch and Dorset.

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