How to Repair Loose Bricks on Fireplaces?
If you have an old fireplace, you may need to repair loose bricks. These bricks can easily get damaged, which could lead to a fire. You can fix them yourself, or hire a professional. There are a few basic steps you can follow to prevent damage and ensure a safe, long-lasting repair.
(Looking for gas fireplace cleaning and repair? Contact us today!)
Start by cleaning the inside of the fireplace. Make sure to remove any dust and soot. This will allow you to see where the damage is located. Next, check the fireplace for any cracks. Apply heat-resistant mortar with a trowel. Let the mortar dry for several days. Use a paint brush to clean out any excess mortar, then smooth the joint.
If the cracks are large, you might need to hire a professional to do the repairs. However, if they are minor, you can do it yourself. Just make sure you have the right tools, and follow any manufacturer’s instructions. Some homeowners associations may have guidelines you can follow.
Generally, loose bricks are caused by expansion or contraction of the mortar. In most cases, this can be repaired by using refractory caulk. Refractory caulk is made with silica, which makes it highly resistant to heat and fire. The product typically sets after one hour of exposure to a fire. But you should never use refractory caulk on a fireplace that has suffered significant damage.
You can also fix loose bricks by removing the mortar and applying new cement. You should not pull out the brick itself, however. Once you have removed the deteriorated mortar, you can use a hammer and chisel to break up the pieces. To break up the grout around the loose bricks, you can also tap a masonry chisel.
To fix loose bricks, you need to clean out the joints. This is important because the excess mortar can attract fungus and mold. After sweeping the mortar joints, sweep the surface of the brick to remove any debris.
For a more permanent fix, you can reapply new mortar. Pointing mortar is the type of mortar to use. It is mixed with water and has an oatmeal-like consistency. Usually, you can find it in a bag at a home improvement store. Follow the directions for the specific mortar you are using.
You can also use a tuck pointer to push the mortar into the joint. When you are done, you can mix some epoxy to seal the new joint. Alternatively, you can buy a clear silicone sealant at any hardware store.
If you do decide to take on the repair yourself, be sure to follow all instructions and check the fireplace for cracks. The more cracks you have, the more serious the damage is. Be sure to protect your work area and use a drop cloth.
If you have a brick fireplace, be sure to use heat-resistant mortar. It is important to let the mortar dry for a few days before re-applying. While you are at it, you can replace any broken or cracked bricks with matching ones.