Spring chimney maintenance
Now that spring has arrived and as the weather warms up you will soon be leaving the fire or wood burner alone until autumn. Now is a good time to do some chimney maintenance and stove maintenance so that it is in good condition for autumn.
As you will be using the fire less now, and possibly not at all until the autumn, it is time to think about having your chimney swept. Wood stoves and fires have deposits of soot and creosote that are flammable and corrosive. Removing the products of combustion at the end of the burning season makes sense from both a safety and maintenance perspective. With a brick flue soot and water makes a corrosive slurry that attacks brickwork and mortar. If you have a stainless steel liner it makes sense to remove the soot now rather than leaving it in the liner to absorb moisture and become a tarry substance that may drip down the flue.
Spring is also a good time to identify any maintenance that needs doing on your flue or stove so you can have it done before autumn when you need to use it.
Closing down your wood burning stove for summer
Refer to your stove’s manual for instructions on how to take out the baffle or throat plate, grate and fire bricks. Be careful with the bricks as these can become fragile after being in use. Clean out all the ash and soot and use a wire brush to remove soot from the inside of the stove. Clean the grate with a wire brush and inspect it to check for any damage, replace any parts that need changing. Clean the stove glass and check the rope seals, change any that are damaged. If your stove has any marks or rust areas, you can clean these up with wire wool or sandpaper and repaint your stove – remember to use heat proof stove paint.