Fireplace repairs are needed for safe burning fires. Cracking in mortar joints, bricks, stone work, and any kind of joint separation in a fireplace can be potentially dangerous. Homeowners that do not use their fireplaces often when moving or when deciding to use the fireplace find there is minor to major repairs needed to finally operate the fireplace.
The fireplace is a functioning part of the home that requires maintenance. There is preventative maintenance and required code maintenance to function properly.
Code Fireplace Maintenance
Having your fireplace work properly for safe fires you must make sure the fireplace is up to code. Fireplace codes come from the National Fire Protection Association. Homeowners should hire a chimney service that knows the codes and are trained on the specialty repairs necessary for safe fires. Here are the inspection items that a properly working fireplace should have visually inspected to function safely:
- – Fireplace back and side walls free from cracks. This includes prefabricated fireplace refractory panel walls.
- – Lintel is not separating from fascia wall
- – Gas line valve is outside the firebox
- – Damper is rust free and opening and closing properly
- – Flue is properly lined. Prefabricated fireplaces pipe is all connected
Here is a picture of a fireplace after a lintel fire had occurred from not keeping up with the fireplace repairs. This picture was taken after the fascia wall was removed and the fire walls were tuck pointed (cracks repaired).
Preventative Fireplace Maintenance
Fireplace repairs can be costly only if you do not keep up with the easy repairs that occur over time. Whether you use the fireplace or not you should look at the fireplace at least once a year. What can happen to your fireplace and what to look for:
- – Your homes foundation could shift slightly creating cracks
- – An animal could of entered into the chimney living behind the damper
- – Your damper could start to rust from not having a proper chimney cap
- – Gas line could be rusting form not having a proper chimney cap
- – Loose bricks
- – Water streaks coming from flue
- – Just general deterioration occurring
Do you see a pattern here? Moisture! Keeping the chimney completely waterproofed is key to preventing future maintenance from occurring. Seeing it happen in the beginning is the reason for keeping costs down on fireplace repairs.
Fireplace Repairs Cracks – Tuck Pointing
The above picture shows the tuck pointing of a fireplace. We drill out the cracks. We then use a fireproof mortar compound to fill in the cracks. We completed it looks like the crack was never there. We suggest paining the firebox black to make it look like new.
Refractory panels are the fire insulation for a prefabricated firebox. Once cracked they can be a fire hazard and should be immediately replaced. Best option is to cover them up with a reflector shield to protect them from the fire and displaced logs falling on them during a fire.
Replacement Fireplace Dampers
Replacement top mounted dampers are installed when the cast iron damper or sheet metal damper has rusted or not functioning properly. Fireplace dampers are the door to the outside climate. Having a sealed damper at the top is the best option for replacement and energy loss. These dampers carry a lifetime warranty and are much easier to install than a new cast iron damper in the firebox.
The Chimney Troop is trained in repairing all your fireplace repairs.