One of our guests’ favorite things during the colder months in the Smoky Mountains is enjoying a roaring fire from a wood-burning fireplace or the warmth from a wood-burning stove. While many of our cabins have lovely gas fireplaces and electric fireplaces, a wood-burning fireplace is a top request from guests! After all, what’s better than the smell of a wood-burning fireplace on a cold night in the mountains?
If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace or wood stove in your vacation rental property, you’ll likely have many requests for it – but you also need to be mindful of the extra maintenance and cleaning they require. No one wants a dirty fireplace with buildup – or worse, an out-of-control fire due to poor maintenance.
Here are just a few reasons homeowners should schedule regular maintenance and annual professional inspections for their wood-burning fireplace or stove.
To locate obstructions
Just like rain gutters and downspouts, chimneys can get clogs due to leaves, animal nests, and sticks. Nests, whether from squirrels, birds, bats, or insects, are often built during spring and summer when guests wouldn’t be using the fireplace. When winter comes, you don’t want a guest lighting a fire and finding out the flue is blocked. This could spark a fire, cause carbon monoxide issues in the cabin, or cause smoke to back up into the cabin. Regular inspections by a professional (this isn’t a DIY home improvement kind of thing) ensure you catch obstructions before they cause a problem.
To reduce the risk of fire
A professional chimney sweep will clean and inspect the chimney to check for and get rid of obstructions and will deep clean creosote buildup, which is a tar-like byproduct that sticks to chimney walls. Creosote is highly flammable, forming when wood burns (especially soft, unseasoned woods), and is the leading cause of house and chimney fires. Because you don’t know what guests are burning, it’s important to have a professional check and clean regularly. They will ensure the fireplace glass, fireplace doors, firebox, chimney caps, fireplace walls, and more are clean and in working order.
To improve efficiency
A fireplace can only run efficiently when it’s clean and when all parts – including chimneys, dampers, and flues – are well maintained. While a fireplace is often an extra perk for guests, they still won’t be happy if it’s not working. Other guests may actually need the fireplace for warmth during very cold months or power outages. Have the fireplace cleaned and professionally inspected before the cold months arrive so you can ensure it burns efficiently for every guest.
To check for chimney repairs
Having chimney inspections and fireplace checks regularly, and well before the cold season begins, means your first winter guests can enjoy it. If you wait and the chimney technician finds an issue, you may delay use of your fireplace – meaning some guests miss out. Once winter hits, fireplace technicians will be much busier as well, so it may be hard to schedule a time. And remember, the older the fireplace, the more important it is to get the entire space inspected, cleaned, and maintained regularly.
We take care of YOU
At Georgia Cabins for YOU, we handle maintenance in all areas – including maintaining relationships with licensed professionals who can service, clean up, and maintain chimneys and fireplaces. Just remember – winter is a busy time for chimney cleaning companies, so let us handle fireplace maintenance and cleaning services before the winter months arrive. We’ll take care of everything for YOU and your guests, so you can sit back and relax – and your guests can cozy up in your cabin!