As hot summer days and warm nights approach, outdoor activities – including camping, grilling, and swimming – fill everyone’s thoughts. But before turning your attention to the great outdoors for the next few months, remember to give your indoor stove or fireplace some TLC!

RUTLAND recommends that you “bookend” your burn season with professional chimney inspections – get your chimney inspected before using it at the beginning of the season, and a second time at the end of the season.

Why?

First, it’s easier to get an appointment for chimney inspection and/or cleaning at the beginning and end of the season. Second, it also helps prevent dangerous soot or creosote buildups from going unnoticed, and third, it ensures your fireplace or stove will be safe and ready to use when you get the urge to build your first indoor fire once colder weather returns. (Another common problem that can be detected and fixed with regular chimney inspections is when an animal nest blocks the chimney flue.)

If you prefer to limit your inspections to the beginning of the season, you can clean your chimney yourself as a DIY project at the end of the season using RUTLAND Chimney Cleaning Brushes and Extension Rods. Make sure to measure your chimney before purchasing a brush to ensure that you have the correct fit. Be sure to clean your brushes after use, then treat them with a little WD-40 before storing them! If you removed the chimney cap when cleaning, you can easily reseal it with any RUTLAND silicone sealant.

If your fireplace has an insert, a good rule of thumb is to replace the insulation whenever you remove the insert for cleaning. Insulation flattens over time or can become misshapen and lose adhesion to the insert, so it‘s important to replace it regularly. Self-adhesive RUTLAND fiberglass insulation is easy to replace and ideal for forming a smoke- and gas-tight seal between the fireplace insert and the existing masonry.

Stove door gaskets should be replaced annually. There should always be an airtight seal when the door is closed – if a piece of paper inserted between the door and stove can be pulled out with the door closed, the seal is not tight enough. To keep it simple, replace the gasket before you say goodbye to your stove for the warmer season. (Note that a wood stove gasket replacement will require a heat cure within 30 days.)

Use RUTLAND Stove, Grill & Hearth Conditioning Glass Cleaner or spray-on Fireplace & Woodstove Glass Cleaner to remove soot, creosote, carbon, or mineral residues on the fireplace or stove glass. If you have a gas appliance, use RUTLAND White-Off® Glass Cleaning Cream to remove pesky white residue from the glass. And, to protect the body of the stove, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint or polish. RUTLAND offers high-temperature black paints as well as cast iron polishes for the DIY fireplace or stove owner.

Lastly, be sure to inspect your stove pipes! Look for any corrosion, breakage, or holes forming. If you see these, the pipes will need to be replaced. To reseal, use RUTLAND Seal it Right® Flexible Latex Sealant as shown! This 800ºF sealant can be easily removed for inspection or cleaning, and does not require a heat cure.

By performing these suggested end-of-season maintenance tasks, you can keep your fire appliances operating at peak efficiency for many years to come. Contact the RUTLAND Customer Support Team at 800-544-1307 if you have any questions about how to use RUTLAND quality products!

Check out our fireplace and stove end-of-season maintenance checklists!