Making use of a wood burning stove is an easy and efficient way to provide your home with heat, however, it can quickly become less effective if it is not kept in good condition. Being aware of a few maintenance tips can help you to repair your stove sufficiently enough to keep it working.
If the grate of your wood burning stove jams and doesn’t appear to fit correctly, check it for damage or distortion. Be aware that it is often easier to replace the grate rather then attempt to repair it. Ensure that it is the correct size and is fitted properly so that it does not become dislodged from its hinges.
Don’t assume that door seals to the wood burning stove are fine and working effectively just because they look correct. When the stove is off, test the doors seals by placing a slip of paper between the gap created when the door is open and closing it before attempting to pull the paper out. If the paper can be withdrawn easily, it is prudent to replace the seal as the paper should be held firmly in place. Don’t forget to check the seal along every edge of the door to ensure there are no gaps present.
Be aware that debris and deposits that build up in your wood stove can hide a multitude of defects and problems if left unchecked. Ensure that you undertake regular cleaning to enable you to easily check for any issues. For example, cracks in glass components can be concealed by deposits of tar and ash while still stopping the stove from working effectively. Ash left in the bottom of the wood stove can hide holes in the pan which can cause damage to the surface beneath; replace any components where damage is present. Ensuring that ash is cleared out of the pan, and the vents are cleaned, will also help the stove to work efficiently.
Catching small sections of rust early can prevent the corrosion from worsening until it requires more extensive rectification work. Scrub away any spots of rust with a wire brush or sandpaper before sealing the repair site with a heat resistant paint or polish to match the existing finish of the wood burning stove.
Don’t assume that bricks that have sustained cracks or damage will not affect the working of the wood burning stove. Damage to bricks that seem inconsequential can cause damage to other parts of the stove that will keep it from working properly. Replace any damaged bricks as soon as they are noticed and ensure that they are of the same type as the existing bricks. Fire cement should be sufficient to hold the bricks in place, but the compound used for the existing bricks should be the first option.