There is something quite wonderful about a real fire. It really is a living thing that is constantly changing and always beautiful to look at.
The joy of a natural fire is something that more and more people are discovering. As a result, new fireplaces are being built across the country.
They look great, but if you are lucky enough to have one built in your home there are a few things you should be aware of. If you want to enjoy your fireplace for many years to come, you need to bed it in properly and know how to take care of it.
Allow it to dry out properly
At first, you need to resist the temptation to set a full fire. Your first few fires should always be small. This is the case even if the fireplace was installed months earlier.
Stone and wood both hold moisture. If you set a full fire, the heat from it will be too fierce. The moisture in the materials the fireplace is built from will be drawn out far too quickly. When that happens, you increase the risk of cracks and fissures developing.
Never over fuel
You also need to be careful not to put too much fuel on your fire. Doing so is wasteful, and you can damage the flue, as well as increase the risk of a chimney fire.
Clean the surround every week
Fires generate fine dust, which gets into the pores of the stonework or the grain of the wood. It is very important to keep this out. Once it gets in it becomes difficult to remove. Therefore, every week, you should dust the fireplace surround as well as the mantelpiece.
This advice also applies to antique fireplaces. If you have had a restored fireplace or a reproduction one installed you need to treat it in the same way you would a brand new, modern fireplace.