In most cases, a period home isn’t quite complete without a traditional fireplace and chimney These features are usually what gives historical properties so much charm. However, poor maintenance of chimneys and fireplaces can lead to damage that could be costly and time-consuming to repair. To make sure this doesn’t happen, we’ve got some top tips for keeping your chimney corner safe and efficient.

Keep your chimney swept

Chimney fires are sure to ruin a cosy evening by the hearth, so keeping your chimneys clean and free from obstructions is crucial. It’s a good idea to get your chimney swept at least once a year, but if you’ve got a woodburner, you might be looking at a sweeping every 3 months.

Burn the proper fuels

It can be tempting to use extra cardboard, paper and MDF as fuel, but this can actually damage your chimney, as well as the environment. Make sure you’re only burning dry, well-seasoned logs to keep your fireplace in good condition, as well as to achieve the cosiest fire!

Take a look on the roof

Make sure nothing’s obstructing the actual chimney top itself. In winter weather, it’s not uncommon for branches to fall onto chimneys causing dangerous blockages. Chimneypots are also a favourite nesting spot for birds, so make sure there’s no feathered families blocking the exit.

 Clear out ashes

A small layer of ash is fine – it can help to protect your fireplace floor and insulate burning coals. However, an ash-pile that’s over an inch deep will cause damage to your grate. What’s more, leaving ashes for a long time will draw moisture out of the fireplace and could cause corrosion due to its acidity.

As the darker nights and colder weather draw in, a cosy fire is the perfect winter warmer. Always get advice from professionals before lighting a fire if you’re not sure about the safety of your fireplace and chimney.