Fireplaces and free-standing stoves can be a great addition to any home, adding both figurative and literal warmth, comfort, aesthetics, resale value, and more. However, like all fixtures in a house, they can develop problems over time, and will occasionally need repairs and maintenance to continue functioning correctly. The companies that focus on the repairs and maintenance of these fixtures are known as fireplace and stove repair services and fireplace and stove maintenance services. The expertise of fireplace and stove repair services or fireplace and stove maintenance services will vary from company to company, as some may be better suited to specific fuel type fireplaces, only focus on fireplaces or stoves, etc. In general, most will handle the most common types of fireplaces and stoves, especially if they also sell them.
In this article, we’ll talk about the differences between the fireplace and stove repair services, fireplace and stove maintenance services, and more specialized companies within that subset. We’ll cover some of the basic physical and age-related damage cases that can occur to fireplaces and stoves, and talk about both professional and consumer-based routine maintenance tasks that can help to maximize the life and usefulness of fireplace and stove investments in the home.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the differences between the companies we are discussing here. Fireplace and stove repair services generally focus on the repair of fireplaces and stoves, addressing specific issues, replacing or rebuilding damaged parts, etc. They may or may not be in the maintenance business (though many are and perform both tasks). Fireplace and stove maintenance services typically are focused on maintenance tasks and would not be the ideal company to call for specific non-functioning situations or physical damage to fireplaces or stoves.
Most companies, in fact, fulfill both roles and may bill themselves as fireplace and stove repair and maintenance services or something similar. Fireplace and stove repair and maintenance services are ideal solutions for consumers when available, as they can handle the repair and maintenance tasks, often in a single visit. Fireplace and stove repair and maintenance service companies differentiated from companies that are specialized in only a subset of maintenance tasks, such as chimney sweeps or chimney cleaning services. These are valuable services as well, but not generally suited to performing fireplace or stove maintenance and repairs.
Fireplaces and free-standing stoves can be damaged in many ways, both through accidents/poor use, lack of maintenance, usual wear-and-tear, material defects, and more. Some causes are common to both fixtures, and some are more likely to be present, or exclusively are present, in one or the other. Below, we’ve tried to provide a general overview of the types of fireplace and stove damage that is most often seen and treated by fireplace and stove repair services and prevented by proper employment of fireplace and stove maintenance services.
The ventilation, flue system(s) associated with a fireplace or stove is critical to the function of the fixture. If these become damaged, blocked, bent, or otherwise compromised, consumers should not use their fireplace or stove until ventilation repairs have been undertaken. Fireplace and stove maintenance services and fireplace and stove repair services both report that one of the most common types of ventilation repairs is not so much a repair as an evacuation – that is, external ventilation elements may become blocked due to the actions of animals, including birds, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats, and others. For intermittent users of fireplaces, with no apparent risk to animals, they may choose to make nests or otherwise attempt to live in some of the external parts of the ventilation system. Even if they don’t take up residence, their activities may cause blockages or otherwise compromise the ability of the system to work correctly.
In addition to animal action, fireplace and stove maintenance services report that over time, the thermal cycling of external ventilation systems (especially in the case of gas or electric fireplaces) can result in some warping of external vents, which may require repair or replacement, to ensure proper ventilation of combustion gases and excess heat is still possible.
Other, more minor repairs that are often undertaken by fireplace and stove repair services include replacing damaged, useless, or outdated hardware, such as the control knobs, dormers, fireplace doors, artificial logs (for gas fireplaces), or other elements of the fireplace or stove. Hinged stove doors are a common point of failure – though in many cases consumers can replace these themselves. Cosmetic damage to elements like a mantle or beautiful stone face of the fireplace is often outside the scope of most fireplace and stove repair services. In general, if it has to do with the fireplace or stove itself, it should be taken care of by a fireplace and stove repair service, but if it’s more cosmetic, or external to the mechanisms of the fireplace or stove and its ventilation system, it’s likely fixable through a general contractor or other specialized company.
Proper maintenance of fireplaces and stoves are essential to ensuring that you get the most out of your investment and that operation is safe and effective. Fireplace and stove maintenance services typically offer maintenance packages to do a complete system inspection, cleaning, etc. on an annual basis, or every two years, or something similar. It typically includes testing all the parts of the system for function, pressure (in the case of gas), igniters/sparklers, shutoff switches, ventilation, any fans or other elements of the system, and possibly cleaning ventilation and fireplace/stove innards in some cases as well. If chimney, flue, fireplace, stove, and all related ventilation element cleaning is not a service that the fireplace and stove maintenance service offer, consumers are advised to hire a professional chimney sweep or other cleaning services.
In general, fireplaces and stoves can be a great addition to a home, both aesthetically and functionally. Like anything else, maintenance can keep them working as they should, and prolong their functional life. Fireplace and stove maintenance services are well-versed in the maintenance needs of all types of fireplaces and stoves and can ensure that work is done affordably and expertly. If something does go wrong, fireplace and stove repair services can help to identify the problem, initiate repairs or replacement of parts, and perform other remediation as necessary. Fireplace, stove repair, and maintenance companies, coupled with third-party services like chimney sweeps or chimney/flue cleaning service, will allow your fireplace or stove to function as intended for many decades.