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Brick Fireplace Repair

           Many homes have brick fireplaces, but most people donít know how to, or that they even need to be maintained. There are a few basic things to watch for regarding your fireplace.

Two of the first things to look at are at the top of your chimney. There should be a spark-arrestor cap covering the chimney. This prevents water from entering your home through the chimney, prevents sparks that could start a fire, and keeps all kinds of animals from nesting in your chimney. There should also be some form of cap (generally formed out of mortar) preventing the same in the area between the flu and the external brick of the chimney. Both of these caps deteriorate over time and should be checked regularly (yearly), and repaired or replaced as needed. While you are up here, take a glance down your flue watching for nests or cracking that may result in a burnout.

Next, look inside of your firebox inside of your home. Here you will be looking for any cracking or deteriorated firebrick. Some of the most common are cracks in the four corner regions and in the center of the back wall. Remember that fire is much like water and will follow the path of least resistance, and if there are any openings (even small cracks) the fire will flow through them. This is called a burnout. Once the fire has flowed through one of these openings, it is in the walls and may not be found before it is too late. Most of these cracks/openings can be sealed with high-temperature clay (fireclay) available at most masonry supply stores. It almost paints on and seeps into the cracks, and leaves your fireplace looking like new.

The last thing that we will cover is separation of the fireplace from the house, and/or the face of your fireplace. In many cases, the faces of fireplaces tend to separate. Though this is a serious concern because this veneer could fall, it is not necessarily a foundation issue. Sometimes the veneer is not properly anchored to the fireplace itself, and may begin to list away from it. In others, the fireplace may be settling and leaning one direction or another; causing this effect.

Before using your fireplace, you need to check it out to make sure that it is safe.

Copyright © 2007 James R. Nech/Alamo Masonry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Alamo Masonry Brick Repair operates full time in: Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Plano, Carrollton, Lewisville, Grand Prairie, Flower Mound, North Richland Hills, Arlington, Benbrook, Crowley, Burleson, Cleburne, Granbury, Johnson County, and the surrounding DFW area.

 

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