Having a fireplace in your house can be a real blessing, especially during the winter season. Not only is it appealing to the eye but also helps you relax after spending a long day at work. But what if you try to fire up your fireplace and it simply won’t light? Time for fireplace and chimney inspection? We are going to share some tips that will help you troubleshoot the issue. Let’s begin!

The Wood Isn’t Seasoned

If you are using wood for your fireplace, you need to make sure it is seasoned or dry. If the wood contains moisture, you will have trouble firing up the fireplace. The moisture will simply not allow the fireplace to get hot enough.

And if the fire is not hot enough, the fireplace won’t produce warm enough air in the chimney to keep your house warm. In addition to that, burning moist wood will produce a lot of smoke as a result as well. This smoke can enter your house and lead to chronic health problems if inhaled.

Therefore, only opt for seasoned wood and if the wood you have purchased is moist, keep it in the sun for a few days until it dries out completely.

The Damper Does Not Fully Open

The chimney of your fireplace relies heavily on the damper as it is the plate or valve that stops or regulates the flow of air inside the chimney. If the damper happens to be closed, it will restrict the airflow.

That said, sometimes the problem could be as easy as you forgetting to open the fireplace damper. This is a common issue for homeowners. However, while that is one thing, it could also be that the damper isn’t big enough. And the same goes for a partially closed damper as well.

It might be that the damper has rust or normal wear and tear, which is not allowing it to work properly. You should make sure that it is free of soot buildup as well. Whatever the reason may be, your damper must be included in the regular inspections of your chimney.

The Pilot Light Is Out

Another common reason for gas fireplaces not firing up is the pilot light going out. It usually happens due to a sudden downdraft or by the wind. In such a case, all you need to do is turn the pilot light on. The pilot light is controlled by a knob by turning it counterclockwise. Otherwise, you will need to consult the user’s manual. It might be that the button or the knob to turn on the pilot light is located somewhere else.

The Gas Valve Is Blocked

If you have a fireplace that runs on gas, you should know it comes with a thermocouple as well. It helps ignite the pilot light. However, the problem is that it is very tiny and it can be blocked by debris or dust particles. Therefore, you should clean the woods with a microfiber cloth and try again. If that does not work out, you will need to call in a professional.

The Chimney Draft Is Poor

As mentioned earlier, your chimney relies heavily on the airflow in your house to work effectively. Therefore, if there isn’t enough draft in your chimney, your fireplace will fail to fire up. Chimney draft problems are mostly caused due to animal nests, branches, no chimney cap, clogged openings, etc.

In addition to that, it might also be that the chimney is simply very short. If that is the case, the wind will blow right back into the chimney putting out the fire. Make sure your chimney is at least 3 feet above your roof and 2 feet higher than anything that is within 10 feet of it.

The Chimney And Fireplace Need Cleaning

If the fireplace doesn’t turn on properly, it’s a sign that the fireplace and the chimney have creosote and soot buildup. You should consider chimney cleaning.

Final Word

Although a fireplace does a good job of keeping your house warm and cozy, some problems can make it irritating. However, the good news is that fixing the majority of the issues is both easy and affordable. Try following the troubleshooting tips highlighted above or simply consult chimney contractors Columbia MD to get your fireplace running normally again.

Your chimney is an asset in your home along with a fireplace. If your fireplace is sitting alone and sad, needs repair and remodeling, then it’s time you give some thought into renovation and designing. If you have a perfectly working chimney, then it’s more than perfect as you can totally focus on the aesthetics. But first, hire a chimney cleaning service for a full sweep.

An impressive and attractive fireplace can actually add value to your homes. Some people tend to decorate and design their fireplaces even though they don’t need it. There are many ways you can completely remodel your hearth to make it as good as new.


The first important step is the cleanup. You need to call in a chimney sweep to do the complete cleanup of your chimney by clearing away the soot, dust and ashes. Cleanup will make a whole lot of difference and you will be able to do remodeling much better.


If you have the traditional bricks in your fireplace and you need to give a new look without changing, then you can white wash or limewash your bricks. It will give a new feel. You can go for either, if you prefer a modern look then go for white wash while limewash give a natural rustic appearance. If you do not like the red color of the bricks then you can paint them to look completely new.

If you have a wooden fireplace, then you can also get a paint job done and give a new look.

Install Tiles Or Any Other Siding

Tiles or any other siding will give an instant uplift to your fireplace. Nowadays, the trend is to install exterior and interior tiles both. You can go for a wide array of patterns and designs and install tiles.

Install A New Mantle

A new mantle installed in your fireplace is an excellent renovation choice. You need to get it constructed so you can either go for a carved beautiful vintage design or a stylish contemporary design. The mantle is the basis of your fireplace and will give the most visual appeal so it should be something out of ordinary and which immediately draws the attention of the viewer. Search the internet and get your dream mantle designed.

Create A Vintage Look

If you are into old school and vintage appearance, then you can make your fireplace look expensive. Install wooden boards and wooden planks on the hearth. Paint the surroundings in fascinating rustic color. Make the room look conventional by placing an animal skin rug near the fireplace, a small rack of books and magazines, a small table and rocking wooden chair and you are all set for the aesthetic rustic look.

Similarly, if you want to give a modern touch then a simple plain fireplace painted in solid colors with a glass door would look elegant. Paint the wall behind the fireplace in pastels and add some artistic paintings or frames with a stylish wall clock and a modern sofa set and you are done.

Get A Panel Installed

A panel above your mantle is a great idea. You can either install a huge round mirror or many different types of paintings and frames. Family photographs are a great idea and will make the place look homely and inviting. You can design the panel in many ways and can also use it as a storage place by installing racks and cabinets.

Stylize Your Mantle

Your mantle is the highlight of your fireplace and you can dress it up the way you want. You can either go for DIY options or get it professionally made and then give your personal touches. You can decorate it with cute decoration items, artificial flowers and small plants, photo frames, candles and whatever you want. The idea is to make sure that your fireplace looks amazing.

You are the mastermind behind the renovation of your house and you can design your fireplace as you please. Whether you go for vintage or modern, it’s completely your choice. It should look aesthetically pleasing to the eye and admired by the onlookers. Look for masons or chimney contractors Columbia MD for chimney repair or remodeling. You can also take suggestions from other people in the house if they are interested in it.