Help for a Damaged Firebox
When we talk about a “damaged firebox,” we’re not talking about damage to moving parts, because a firebox doesn’t have any. What it does have are specialized firebricks held together with durable refractory mortar. When either of these materials become damaged, serious problems are on the way.
Northeastern Chimney of West Hartford, CT, would like to share some helpful information about damaged fireboxes and how the problems can be solved.
The Firebox Environment
A fireplace burns either wood or gas fuel. At times, the temperature inside the firebox can exceed 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a lot of heat. Fortunately, the bricks used to construct the firebox – or that should have been used – are uniquely designed to withstand high temperatures. They’re not the same kind of bricks that make up your chimney’s masonry.
Likewise, the mortar between the bricks is created to bear up during intense fireplace fires.
How to Spot Firebox Damage
It’s a good idea to completely clean out your firebox periodically, even during the burning season. This will allow you to do a good visual inspection. Watch for:
- Gaps between bricks
- Missing sections of mortar
- Cracked or flaking bricks
- Missing bricks
- Crumbling bricks or mortar
If you notice these or any other “unusual” signs, stop using the fireplace and arrange to have one of our certified fireplace inspectors take a look at the situation.
The Risks of Using a Damaged Firebox
You probably know this already, but it never hurts to repeat it: A compromised firebox can allow flames to escape and come into contact with the home’s building materials. The result can range from minor damage to a colossal house fire.
Gaps in the firebox materials can also send smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide into the living spaces of your home.
A large number of house fires and carbon monoxide poisonings throughout Connecticut each year are connected to issues with fireplaces and chimneys. If you even suspect that your firebox is damaged, schedule a professional inspection before using the fireplace again.
Addressing Firebox Problems
Northeastern Chimney repairs and rebuilds fireboxes. Our inspectors, who are also expert fireplace masons, will be able to understand exactly what’s happening with your firebox, why it’s happening, how extensive the damage is, and what to do about it.
Strategies for addressing firebox problems include:
Brick replacement – when just one or a few bricks are compromised
Tuckpointing – to scrape away deteriorated mortar and replace it with strong new refractory mortar
Firebox rebuilding – in cases where damage is severe and there’s no other way to ensure that the firebox is safe
Before any work begins, we’ll explain our findings and go over your options. You’ll know what we’re going to do and how much it will cost right from the start.
Call Connecticut’s Fireplace Experts Today
Along with complete firebox repair and rebuilding, we provide all the services you need for your chimney. Call us for certified chimney sweeping, licensed chimney inspections and expert chimney repair and rebuilding work.
We have the same goal as you: a chimney and fireplace system that operates safely and efficiently all year long.
Speak with an experienced technician today at (860) 233-5770. You can also reach out through our handy contact form.