Its Summer in October for the UK but its Time to get Ready for Winter
We are on the 10-week countdown until Christmas, but with record weather hitting the UK this weekend, it is feeling far from it. Hot air coming in from southern Spain has given some parts of the country temperatures of up to 25°C, with warm weather still lasting today and into this week for some of us. And despite the gusts of storm Ophelia sweeping parts of the nation yesterday, the temperature is still pleasantly mild.
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|Top UK Temperatures for October|
*Highest recorded in UK for October
And this is not the first time the UK has basked in the warmth of an Indian summer; the last 6 years has delivered increasing heat in the autumn months with record temperatures.
With the chill that should be creeping in around this time, we are usually thinking comforting thoughts of coco in front of the fire which motivates pre-hibernation preparation. This includes getting the fireplace sorted for the fast approaching winter months. Instead, we are all more likely thinking of dusting the barbecue for another go.
But what does this mean for the fireplace season? Usually a quiet autumn and a mad few weeks leading up to Christmas. But we say don’t get too comfortable with the heat we are experiencing, as temperatures will be creeping down over the next few weeks and we are back into the course of winter. Think smart and start preparing your home for the cold before the weather hits with these top tips!
If you have one, the chimney & flue system should be examined and swept at least once a year, especially if the fire hasn’t been used for a long period of time. This must be carried out by a regulated chimney sweep, who will issue you with a certificate confirming the system is structurally sound and free from obstruction.
Your fire appliance should also be cleaned and serviced to ensure safety and maintain the look and performance of your fire. If the fireplace is not used for any prolonged periods, start by burning the fire at a low output for the first few hours so the appliance can be re-tempered.
Cleaning Stone Mantels & Hearths
You must be attentive when it comes to maintaining both the stone of your fireplace and the appliance to avoid damaging effects that can occur over time.
For Limestone, the use of a damp cloth to clean the stones surface regularly will help up-keep the look of the stone; for more thorough cleaning the use of specialist limestone cleaners would be advisable. In most cases for granite, the use of a non-acidic glass cleaner with a lint-free cloth will bring your granite to a great finish.
Cleaning up spillages of common household items on a granite hearth such as wine, tea, coffee, fruit juice, candle wax etc. is far easier than on a limestone hearth. Its better to clean up these spills straight away, before they dry. To clean, use a damp cloth, and if necessary, a small amount liquid cleaner. Please note, cleaners with abrasive substances such as bleach, citrus acids or vinegar shouldn’t be used as they may cause the granite to dull and will cause marks on limestone.For more information on the upkeep of your fireplace, check-out our fireplace guides on our fireplace page.
Whether its logs, coal or kindling, whatever fuel you use on your stove, make sure you’re stocked up so you don’t have to worry about it throughout the winter. Some fuel may need time to dry out and what better time than during this hot October?
Displays of fireplace fuel can now be a stylish addition to your interior design so why not get well stocked and make a feature of it with a log display in the nook of your chimney breast, a fire basket to accessorise your fireplace or a stand-out log store to add edge to your interior.
If you’re thinking of buying and having a new fireplace installed, don’t wait for it to get cold; this seasonal psychology could be why, at the J. Rotherham stone fireplace showroom, we see an influx of customers in late November throughout December, scrambling to get their new fireplace installed in time for Christmas.
There is a lot more that goes into the installation of a fireplace than most expect and it can take time to find the perfect fit for you and your home. It can take even more time during busy seasons when fireplace surveyors and fitters are in high demand.
Before you select your fireplace and appliance, you need to be aware of smoke control legislation in your area to ensure you abide by the law. Check what sort of fire and fuel are legal in your area. Your council website will give details, or see gov.uk/smoke-control-area-rules.