If you have a cast-iron woodburning stove and wonder what maintenance is required, you might be happy to know that it actually requires very little maintenance. If you check it regularly and repair it as needed, your stove will function better and work optimally in providing warmth and comfort to you and your family. By following the eight tips below, you can easily care for and maintain you stove.
Inspect the Ash Pan.
Periodically check the stove’s ash pan for holes or cracks. This task is important so as to prevent hot ash from falling from stove openings onto the carpet or other flooring. Ash and cinders could cause damage to the flooring or, worse yet, start a fire.
Check the Fire Rope Seals.
Regularly check the fire rope seals located around the doors and the glass of the cast-iron woodburning stove. If the seals are badly frayed, or if you determine that some fire rope is missing, you should replace it at once. A good way to check the fire rope in the door is to place a thin piece of paper between the door and the stove; then close the door. If you can pull the paper out easily, the fire rope seals have been compromised and need to be replaced.
Check the Seals.
Check the seals located near the side and top plates. You should find no gaps between the seals. If you do find gaps, you should reseal the seals with fire cement (a bonding material that you can purchase at your local hardware store or online).
Test the Firebricks.
Periodically check the firebricks, if you have them in your stove. If one of them is loose, you should replace it. Otherwise, it could cause your stove's cast iron to crack.
Check for Rust.
Examine the finish on your cast-iron woodburning stove and check for rust that can create problems. Remove rust with a stiff bristle brush or steel wool. After you have removed the rust, paint the area with a black, heat-resistant spray paint. Or polish the area with a black grate polish.
Examine the Stove Glass.
Occasionally examine the glass on your cast-iron woodburning stove for cracks. If you discover black tar on the glass, remove it with a glass cleaner. Be sure you do this when the stove is cool.
Examine the Throat Plate.
The throat plate, or baffle plate, is positioned above the grate. This plate prevents the fire's heat from going directly up the flue. With time it can begin to warp, and the warping prevents the cast-iron woodburning stove from functioning efficiently. Therefore you should examine this plate at regular intervals.
Open the Door in the Summer.
When the cast-iron woodburning stove is not in use during the summer months, leave the door or vent in the stove open. By doing this you will prevent condensation from building up in the chimney.