How Do You Repair a Fireplace?
Fireplaces are an essential part of many homes. They are a source of warmth and comfort, but they also come with a number of risks. They are prone to damage, so it is important to know how to repair a fireplace when necessary.
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Signs that a Fireplace Needs Maintenance and Repair
One of the most obvious signs that a fireplace needs to be repaired is if you notice a buildup of soot. Soot can form from a variety of causes, including poor ventilation or a blocked flue pipe. Regardless of the cause, it should be cleaned out as soon as possible.
Cracked or Chipped Brick
If you’re not careful, a crack in the firebox of your fireplace can allow rain and snow to enter the chimney, which can lead to leaks in your home. If the crack is large, it may need to be repaired by a professional.
Creosote / Smoke Stains
If the smoke from your fireplace has become a dark gray color, it is probably time to inspect your chimney for signs of creosote buildup. This is a hazardous substance that can damage the inside of your chimney and cause carbon monoxide emissions to leak into your home.
A small amount of creosote can be removed by a professional chimney sweep, but larger amounts might require a full inspection and cleaning. A professional will be able to determine the severity of the problem and recommend steps to prevent it from occurring again.
Most fireplace systems include a coating that prevents them from rusting, but this protection can wear off with age. When rusting does occur, the system is likely to need to be replaced.
Damper Plate Being Off Track
If your damper plate is off track, it can affect the direction of smoke from your chimney. It can also create a draft around the fireplace, which can be dangerous.
The best way to determine the problem is to have a professional inspect your fireplace and take a closer look at the damper plate. They can also advise you on what steps to take to repair the damper plate.
Depending on your fireplace’s model, there may be other parts to inspect as well. You can do a quick inspection by looking from the firebox upward to see if you can locate the rod that holds the damper plate in place.
In some cases, the damper plate may need to be twisted. This can be done with a screwdriver or by turning it manually, using your hand to feel around and find it.
A cracked safety screen is another sign that your fireplace may need repairs. This is because a cracked safety screen isn’t designed to withstand temperatures of 600 degrees Fahrenheit or more, and it can release harmful chemicals into the room.
To protect yourself and your family from these dangers, consider having a carbon monoxide detector installed in the same room as your fireplace to alert you to the presence of gas.