How to Repair an Old Outdoor Field Rock Fireplace?
Stone fireplaces are considered to be very strong materials, but they also require special care. You will need to do a thorough cleaning and repair in order to keep your fireplace in great condition. When you first have your fireplace repaired, you need to make sure that it is insulated and able to handle the heat of a fire. If you find that the stone around the fireplace has a large amount of cracks and loose pieces, it may need to be reinforced.
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Before you begin repairing your outdoor field rock fireplace, you should do a thorough inspection. In addition to checking the surrounding area for cracks and loose pieces, you should check the firebox and the grout in the fireplace. If you notice any of these issues, you need to act quickly.
First, you will need to remove any andirons and grate from the fireplace. This will allow you to clean the firebox. Use a scrub brush and damp rag to remove any accumulated dirt. Once you are done cleaning, you can store your ashes in a metal container with a lid. The ashes should be stored outdoors away from flammable materials.
Next, you will need to inspect the mortar and stones in your fireplace. There are several problems that can occur with these types of fireplaces. These include eroding joints, crumbling mortar, or settling dirt. Eroding mortar joints can be caused by heating or cooling cycles, aging homes, and poorly built chimneys. To prevent eroding, you can use a cold chisel to pry the stone apart. It is important that you only chisel into the stone about half an inch.
Finally, you will need to replace the mortar in the joints. To do this, you will need to mix a mixture of water and mortar according to the label’s instructions. You will then need to force the mortar into the joints with a flat metal piece. After the mortar has been applied, you will need to smooth the edges of the mortar to give it a polished look.
You will need a wire brush and a scrubbing brush to complete this part of the project. When you are done, the area will be ready for new mortar. Make sure to rinse your paintbrush and rag with warm soapy water until the water runs clear. A hammer and a cold chisel will also help you remove the crumbling mortar.
Lastly, you will need to fill any cracks or holes with a paintable acrylic latex caulk. This will help to protect the fireplace from future deterioration. Remember to wait for the caulk to dry before painting.
If you have any lingering soot or creosote in your fireplace, you can try to remove it using TSP (tetrasodium pyrophosphate) wash. To do this, you will need to apply a mixture of TSP and water and leave it for about five minutes. When the paste has had a chance to settle, you can use a rag to remove the residue.