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 Products 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 at the beginning and end of the season. 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. A common problem that chimney owners face is animal nests in their chimneys, and a professional inspection at the beginning of the burn season will address this.

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.

Use Rutland’s Stove, Grill & Hearth Conditioning Glass Cleaner or spray-on Fireplace Glass & Hearth Cleaner to remove soot, creosote, carbon, or mineral residues on the fireplace or stove glass. If you have a gas appliance, use Rutland’s White-Off® Glass Cleaning Cream to remove pesky white residue from the glass. And, if your stove or fireplace looks a little worn-out, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint or polish. Rutland offers high-temperature black paints and polishes for the DIY fireplace or stove owner.

Lastly, be sure to seal the pipes in your stove with Rutland’s Seal it Right® Flexible Latex Sealant! This easy-to-use sealant will withstand temperatures up to 800ºF, 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!