Hardwood floors are considered an upgrade. They are elegant and beautiful and can be incorporated into any home. However, they are also susceptible to damage, especially if they are not properly maintained. Most people are concerned with water damage; as they should be, but homes that have their fireplace featured in rooms with wooden floors, should also worry about the potential fire hazards as well. Flying sparks, floating embers, hot ash, and charred wood can scorch and damage your hardwood floors. With that in mind, we at Mike’s Custom Flooring would like to share some tips and suggestions to avoid damage while using your fireplace.
Tips to Prevent Hardwood Floor Damage in Front of Fireplace
1) Only Burn Wood: Burning only wood can help protect your wood while using your traditional fireplaces or a wood stove. Paper, plant matter, and other flammable materials burn hotter and cause damage to your hearth overtime, which will more frequently send out sparks or potentially hazardous scraps. A resent a danger to you and other potential damage to the floors is the use of grease, oil, lighter fluid or other highly combustible substances to start a fire; avoid using these agents. Any fireplaces or wood-burning stoves near wood flooring should also have a hearth mat or other type of barrier made of non-flammable materials. Always start and maintain fires responsibly, burning only wood as previously stated, and never leave a fire unattended for excessive periods of time; this includes leaving the home or going to bed for the night.
2) Avoid Overuse of Fireplaces: Overusing fireplaces or over-building fires risks damaging the structure, despite the construction of your fireplace being designed to withstand heat. The long term use will cause damage to your flooring. Extreme heat can melt even metal with the ongoing fire for extended periods of time. Avoid overfeeding the fire is not safe and can cause over eating.
3) Use a Working Grate or Cover: To protect your hardwood floors from fire damage ensure you have some grate or another cover for all fireplaces. Make certain, for obvious reasons, that it is constructed with non-flammable materials. The grate should have ventilation; allowing smoke to pass through but still containing the flames, embers, and sparks to protect the hardwood floors.
4) Invest in a Hearth Extension: Hearth extensions are what they suggest, and are placed outside the fireplace; acting as an extension of the hearth, it is specifically designed to protect flooring from scorching and fire damage Utilize hearth extension pads made of other non-combustible materials as they are often made of slate, brick, or stone. Working for either traditional fireplaces or wood stoves, some homeowners choose to create a raised section of the floor with a surface of brick or stone.
Hardwood Flooring Repairs & More in Charles Town & Eastern Panhandle of Berkeley & Jefferson Counties in WV | Winchester & Frederick County | Round Hill & Loudoun County | Berryville & Clarke County | Herndon & Fairfax County VA
In the event there is fire damage to your hardwood floors, call in the professionals of Mike’s Custom Flooring and our specialists will come and assess the damage and determine the best course of action regarding repairs or replacements. Call Mike’s Custom Flooring today to get started!