How to Repair Cracks Inside a Fireplace?
Fireplaces are beautiful focal points in many homes. However, they can also be a fire hazard. The best way to maintain a fireplace is to perform regular inspections and maintenance. This can include replacing damaged panels and doing maintenance on the chimney. A professional chimney contractor can perform these tasks for a fee.
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Cracks in a fireplace are an unseen hazard. They can become holes that can cause house fires. Keeping an eye out for cracks and repairing them before they get too bad is the best way to prevent a blaze.
Cracks can occur in the mortar as well as the brick. Mortar is the original material used to build a fireplace. It is important to use a good quality mortar, as it will hold up to the high heat of the burning embers. To ensure this, use a mortar that contains calcium and lime. If the mortar is crumbling or breaking, remove it. You can also replace it entirely.
Alternatively, you can patch a hole in the fireplace. Portland cement is a good option. Patching a hole is often the easiest solution, but you must consider the scope of work before you start. While a thin patch over a hole in the fireplace will provide some protection, it does not offer the same protection as mortar.
You can also use refractory caulk to fix mortar joints between firebricks. Caulk contains silica to provide good heat resistance. However, using refractory caulk isn’t recommended for larger areas because it can be a serious fire hazard. When repairing mortar joints, you will need a good trowel and the right tools.
One of the most effective ways to repair a crack in a fireplace is to clean the area before you begin. You should use a stiff bristle brush and a metal bucket to scrape away any soot. After you have cleaned the area, you should dry it. Then, remove any ash with an ash vacuum.
Another method is to spray the area with masonry brick cleaner. Said to be able to clean a cracked masonry fireplace, this method uses water to break up soot in the area. Once the soot is gone, you should wipe it down with paper towels. Using the right cleaning method will not only make the repair look better, but it will also be safer.
Finally, if the crack is large enough, you may need to replace the panel. Luckily, replacing a prefabricated metal fireplace panel is a do-it-yourself project that most homeowners can handle. Alternatively, you can hire a professional to do the job. For about $300, a professional will be able to replace the entire panel.
While you are at it, you should check your chimney for leaks. Water will make the material in your chimney swell, leading to cracks and possibly a fire. Fortunately, a properly installed damper will keep water from entering the chimney. Moreover, a professional will be able to detect and address any cracks before they cause major damage.