There are benefits to owning a wood-burning stove, the most obvious one being the money it saves you on heating costs in the winter. When you use the right wood to keep your house warm - consider seasoned ash, beech or cedar for slow, long-lasting heat - you can enjoy a crackling fire whenever you wish.
Part of the responsibility that comes with owning a wood-burning stove is keeping the unit in excellent condition. You may not notice that your stove needs repairs or an inspection, but you should still have your wood-burning stove inspected by a professional before each winter season to ensure heat safety during the winter months.
Here are three signs you should have your wood-burning stove inspected. If you notice any of the following potential problems, call your chimney repair specialist right away, and discontinue use of your wood burner until you have their approval.
You See Rust in or Around Your Stove
Where there is rust, there is moisture, which is not a good sign. Moisture on top of your wood-burning stove, inside the unit or even along the stovepipe means that the chimney cap may be cracked or missing, your roof around your chimney is not properly sealed or there are other problems with your stove.
Do not use your stove until you have had your unit inspected by a chimney specialist. Allow an existing fire to burn out naturally, then, when the ashes are no longer burning or showing signs of heat, scoop away all ashes into a metal bucket using a chimney scoop. If you are unsure if a fire is out completely or you do not know how to remove ashes yourself, your chimney specialist will do the work for you.
You Haven't Had Your Chimney/Stovepipe Cleaned
Stovepipes and chimneys naturally collect a material called creosote, which is a by-product of burning materials. This thick, black substance lines the inside of your chimney, as well as the stove itself, and is very flammable.
When wood inside your burner won't stay lit, fires produce little to no heat or you have issues keeping smoke from entering your home after you've lit a fire, then a dirty chimney or stovepipe may be your issue. You should have your wood burner cleaned every season when you have it inspected; if you haven't had this done, call your chimney specialist to have your stove, chimney/stovepipe and cap thoroughly inspected and cleaned for your safety.
Your Chimney Cap (Crown) is Missing/Damaged
Your wood-burning stove should have a chimney cap (also known as a crown). This is located on the roof of your home on top of the chimney. This cap can look like a rounded mushroom or can be flat in its appearance.
The cap is responsible for keeping rodents and birds from nesting in your stovepipe or chimney. It also protects your wood-burning stove against rainfall, wind (which can blow smoke into your home) and falling debris.
When your chimney cap is damaged, it can allow moisture or smoke into your wood-burning stove. Critters may also find your stovepipe or chimney enticing as the weather cools. If your cap is missing or has dents, cracks or other damages, call your chimney repair technician right away for a replacement piece.
Taking care of your wood-burning stove is essential to healthy wood burning when the weather begins to cool. Your chimney specialist is happy to inspect, clean, repair and replace parts of your wood burner as needed.Make sure to have your wood-burning stove inspected every year before use. Call our team of experts at R & R Fireplace and Chimney for all your fireplace needs.