Maintaining a Fireplace and Chimney

Learn proper fireplace and chimney maintenance along with a few extra suggestions on proper home maintenance before and during the cold weather months.

Maintaining a Chimney

Rehab Addict: Boy's Bedroom with Original Fireplace

Rehab Addict: Boy's Bedroom with Original Fireplace

As seen on DIY Network's Rehab Addict, Nicole preserved the original fireplaces down to the woodwork and surrounding tile in this boy's bedroom.

From: Rehab Addict

Photo by: Mark Teskey

Mark Teskey

  • Check the chimney flashing. Check the bricks and mortar to make sure they are intact.
  • Remove any plants or moss growing between the bricks.
  • Check the chimney crown and fill any cracks or gaps with cement patch.
  • Remove the chimney gap and check the flue liner for damage or obstructions.
  • Check the fireplace for cracks or damage to the firebox.
  • Look up the flue liner to look for creosote buildup.
  • Remove the ashes with a flat shovel and dispose in a metal bucket. Ashes can be scattered on compost pile or in the garden.
  • Have the fireplace professionally cleaned every year.
  • Check the damper for proper operation.
  • To clean stains in the firebox use chemical cleaner with a metal brush.

Extra Tips:

  • The idea that stuffing fiberglass insulation into cracks will stop air filtration is a common misconception. Fiberglass is a good insulator and makes a great furnace filter, but it doesn't stop air infiltration. It may slow it down some, but caulk or closed cell foam is the best way to stop air filtration.
  • Check in the crawl space to make sure the insulation is intact and that no critters have set up winter camp.
  • It is always a good idea to replenish flashlight batteries. Winter brings ice storms and power outages.
  • Test the smoke alarm and replace the batteries if they have not been changed in a while.
  • Stock up on winter supplies before the first big snow storm arrives – a good snow shovel, ice melt and scrappers.
  • And finally, after a big snow, check around the attic and basement for leaks.

Next Up

Tips on Cleaning and Maintaining a Fireplace

Cleaning and maintaining a fireplace can be a DIY job, but before the chimney is cleaned, key areas must be checked. Use these tips to ensure fireplace and chimney safety.

How to Close Off or Open Up an Old Fireplace

Learn the proper steps to take when blocking up a fireplace or exposing an old fireplace.

The Anatomy of a Fireplace: Flues, Chimneys and More

Learn about the various parts that make up a fireplace and when they need to be repaired or replaced.

10 Tips for Maintaining a Wood-Burning Fireplace

There can be many advantages to using a wood burning fireplace. Among other things, it can save money on heating costs and supplement your main source of heat.

All About Fireplaces and Fireplace Surrounds

Looking to warm up your home with a fireplace? Learn about the various types of fireplaces and fire surrounds and find out how to choose the right fire type for your home.

How to Clean a Stone Fireplace

Put the sparkle back in your stone fireplace with these cleaning tips for removing dirt, soot and stains.

Bathroom Fireplaces

For the ultimate space heater, try adding a fireplace to your bathroom. New, pre-fab models make it easy and inexpensive.

Gas Fireplace Basics

Gas fireplaces are a great way to add warmth and comfort to a space. Much like wall furnaces, gas fireplaces come on and off with a wall switch and can be controlled by a remote.

Tips for Buying and Installing a New Fireplace Surround

Installing a fireplace is a job for a professional, but installing a fireplace surround is a fairly straightforward DIY project.

Energy-Conservation Tips

See how easy it is to reduce utility bills with these energy-conservations tips.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.