3 Things To Do Before Lighting A Fire In An Old Home

When it comes to character and historical architectural details, an older home is the way to go. These homes are often attractive to buyers who are looking for classic styling and a "lived in" feeling. While there are many advantages to purchasing a home that was built decades or even more than a century ago, these homes may require more work and care than newer builds. One feature that many find attractive about older homes is that they often have multiple fireplaces. Before central heating, these fireplaces were a requirement for staying warm in the cold Canadian winters. While fireplaces are great features for any home, there are 3 things homeowners should do before lighting a fire in an older home.

Get An Inspection

Getting a fireplace inspected before lighting a fire is a necessity. Older homes often have different construction in addition to a lot of wear and tear. Often the chimneys are a source of problems. They can easily become damaged over time. This is why an inspection is so important. A Wood Energy Technology Transfer, or WETT, inspection is something that most homeowners will need when they purchase an older home. In Canada, many insurance companies require this type of inspection before approving homeowners for insurance. This inspection will tell the homeowners whether or not the chimney and fireplace are in good structural shape, and whether or not they are working to their full potential.

Make The Needed Repairs

Once the chimney and fireplace are inspected it is time for the repairs. Chimney repair is something that should be done by professionals. The first step in chimney repair is usually clearing out any debris or blockages. Next the structural integrity of the chimney should be made to be solid. Some chimneys may need to be reinforced or even rebuilt. Also chimney repair should include the addition of chimney lining. This lining helps the chimney perform more efficiently and can even help prevent fires. 

Maintenance Is Key

Finally, regular maintenance is something to do before and after lighting a fire in an old house. Chimneys should be swept at least once a year in order to work their best. Since most homeowners use their fireplaces primarily during the winter months, hiring a chimney sweep right before winter begins is the optimal time. This yearly maintenance will ensure that the chimneys in an old home work well for years to come.

Fireplaces are great features in many old homes. They can also pose a fire risk. Before lighting a fire homeowners should have the chimneys inspected, repaired, and make plans for their regular maintenance. Contact a business, such as Carleton Chimney Services Inc, for more information.