How to Repair a Fireplace?
When you own a fireplace, it’s important to inspect your fireplace on a regular basis. If you don’t, you could find yourself facing a serious fire in the future. Firebox repair is a quick and easy way to get your fireplace working again. It’s also a great way to revamp your old fireplace and give it a fresh, updated look.
(Looking for tabletop fireplace repair? Contact us today!)
One of the most common reasons a firebox needs to be repaired is water damage. A leak from the chimney can cause the bricks to erode and crack. This can lead to a deteriorated firebox and can even expose the wood framing of the back of the fireplace. Other factors that can speed up the degradation of a firebox include improper construction and inferior materials.
Another reason why you may need to replace your firebox is a crack in the mortar. Even a small crack can let flammable gasses escape. You can remedy this problem by applying a special high-temperature caulk to the joint.
A more extensive firebox repair job may involve replacing the bricks themselves. Some bricks are designed to handle the extreme heat and humidity that a firebox can experience. These types of bricks can give your fireplace a more modern look while enhancing its antique charm.
The mortar joints in your fireplace should be cleaned thoroughly. This will help to prevent any moisture from causing further deterioration. Using a shop vacuum is an excellent way to remove dust and dirt from the joints. Scrape any loose mortar with a pointed tool to ensure that the joints are clean.
If the mortar is still intact, you may be able to make repairs by applying a sealant to the surfaces. However, if the mortar is broken, it’s best to remove it and replace it with a new batch of mortar. For this, use a specialized type of mortar. Repointing is a similar process, but involves grinding away the old mortar and replacing it with a new batch.
In addition to the inside of the fireplace looking shabby, you may notice the mortar between the bricks becoming cracked. Cracks can lead to excess moisture in the masonry and the mortar, which can erode the bricks and result in a weakened firebox. There are also a few different methods for repairing the mortar, such as using refractory caulk.
Although refractory caulk is the quickest and easiest way to fix a firebox, it is also the most dangerous. Depending on the severity of the damages, refractory caulk should be avoided. Only an experienced masonry expert can properly repair a masonry firebox.
Aside from the risks of a fire, a damaged firebox can cause other issues. For example, a cracked firebox can damage your chimney liner and smoke shelf. This can affect the functionality of your fireplace and the safety of your home. Having a professional chimney sweep inspect your fireplace will allow them to identify any issues that need to be repaired.