How to Repair Natural Stone Fireplaces?

Natural stone fireplaces can be a beautiful way to accent your home. However, the natural surface of stone can be prone to stains and damage. There are a few steps you can take to keep your fireplace looking its best. 

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First, you’ll need to clean your fireplace. A heavy buildup of soot or exhaust can indicate a problem with your unit. Depending on the type of stone you have, you may need to apply a sealant to keep your fireplace in good condition. 

Another reason to clean your fireplace is to avoid a buildup of ashes and refuse. Using a vacuum cleaner will help remove these pollutants from the floor. If you want to be extra careful, consider laying a tarp down to protect furniture and other items in the room. 

After removing all debris and ash from the fireplace, you should let the stone air dry. You may also need to use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess caulking that may have come off. Then, use a sandpaper to sand away the blemishes on the stone. This will give it a new finish. 

A final step in how to repair natural stone fireplaces is to re-point the mortar. During the winter, your fireplace may experience thawing and freezing cycles that can cause cracks. If the crack is small, you can try repairing it yourself. But, if the crack is large, you might need to call in a professional. 

One common mistake is using harsh household chemicals to clean the stone. Some of these products can damage the natural finish of the stone. To avoid this, use a milder cleanser that contains dish washing detergent. 

If the stain is hard to remove, you can apply a hydrochloric acid solution. Mix ten parts water to one part hydrochloric acid. Apply the solution to a small area and sand it off. Rinse the stone with water to remove any remaining acids. 

When you are re-pointing the mortar, be sure to match the color of the old mortar to the new. Also, smooth the joints for a uniform appearance. Make sure to follow the directions on the mortar package. 

Before you apply the mortar, be sure to remove all loose stones. A blunt chisel can help pry out any loose stones. Doing so will ensure the re-pointing process goes smoothly. 

Once the mortar has set, you can apply the replacement fireplace stone. Make sure to wiggle it to make sure it fits properly. Leave it to dry for at least a couple hours. 

You can use a wire brush to scrub off the residue from the chiseling work. This will ensure that the walls are prepared to receive the new mortar. Lastly, sand the new mortar to achieve a smooth surface. 

If you’re unable to perform the above steps on your own, you can call in a professional to fix your fireplace. They will be able to identify the type of stone and determine whether or not the crack needs to be repaired.