Total Chimney Care's Blog

We Repair and Rebuild Fireplace Fireboxes

Masonry fireplaces will last for generations, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need the occasional repair or even minor rebuilding. One of the portions of the firebox that is most likely to need to be repaired or rebuilt is the firebox. The firebox is the portion of your fireplace where the fire burns.  It’s constructed of heavy-duty firebricks that are made to withstand the intense heat of your fires. However, these heavy-duty bricks are susceptible to breakdown over time. The extreme heat of the fires can cause bricks to crack, as can the natural settling of your home over time, and the mortar that holds the firebricks together can deteriorate.

How to know if your firebox needs to be repairedFirebox Rebuild and repairs

Without a professional evaluation, it can be hard to determine if your firebox needs to be repaired or replaced, but there are some signs you can look for that indicate that your firebox needs to be inspected. Some warning signs to look for in your firebox include:

• Cracks in the firebricks. Cracked firebricks can allow the heat and smoke from your fireplace to seep out of the confines of the firebox and damage your home’s structure or even put your home at risk for a fire. Some minor cracking in the firebrick is normal, but cracks should be evaluated annually by a certified chimney professional so you can be alerted when cracks are severe enough that they pose a hazard and should be addressed.

• Crumbling mortar. Mortar is often the first component of the firebox to break down. Crumbling masonry can weaken the overall structure of the firebox and lead to further damage. The good news about crumbling mortar is that it generally can be repaired with a relatively simple process called tuckpointing: The old mortar is scraped away and new mortar is smoothed into place, restoring the look and function of the firebox.

• An unsightly firebox. In some cases, there is nothing wrong with the structure of the firebox, but the color or style of the firebox is outdated, unattractive or out of sync with your style or the style of your home. In these cases, old fireboxes can be ripped out and replaced to create an attractive, updated look for your hearth.

Who to call when your firebox needs to be repaired or rebuilt

If you notice the warning signs that your firebox needs to be repaired or replaced, or if you want to have your firebox rebuilt to update your home and reflect your home’s style, call Total Chimney Care!  For safety or aesthetic reasons, we are able to repair or replace fireboxes, and we do it in a professional, mess-free way, taking care to protect your furniture and floors. With Total Chimney Care, you can have a beautiful, hand-built firebox that restores the beauty and safety of your hearth.

By Steve Sobczak on November 30th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Reasons to Consider Firebox Repair

When someone buys a home, firebox repair is not something that is generally high on the expected list of home repairs. The fireplace seems, to many people, to be a permanent structure within the house that will never have to change. However, there are a few reasons that someone may need to consider replacing or repairing their firebox unit.

Brick Firebox - Bridgeport CT - Total Chimney Care

One of the first signs that it may be time for firebox repair is if debris is falling from the area in and around the fireplace. This is an indicator that the structure of the firebox is weakening and may not be as safe as it once was. A good way to tell if the debris is truly coming from the firebox or not is to gently scratch it and see whether or not material from the firebox flakes off with ease.

A responsible homeowner will have someone in on an annual basis to inspect the chimney. Many people find that they need their firebox repaired after one of these inspections. There are many common issues with fireboxes that may not be so obvious to the untrained eye. The person conducting the inspection will be able to indicate whether or not it is time to start thinking about some repairs before they turn into major problems.

Of course, there are also people who have repairs and changes made to their fireboxes for purely cosmetic reasons. For example, someone may want a different kind of brick or stone surrounding their fireplace. If this is the case, the entire firebox can be rebuilt to create the desired look.

Having the firebox inspected and making any necessary repairs is necessary for maintaining a safe home. Failure to do so could result in a dangerous fire that spreads throughout the home. An annual inspection may result in the need for repairs, or a homeowner may notice that there is an issue. If it appears that something is wrong with the structure, it is best to have it looked at as soon as possible.

By Steve Sobczak on June 20th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment