Rebuilding or repair? How to restore an old stone or brick fireplace?

A fireplace serves many purposes in the house, including the decorative one, but it requires regular maintenance to function safely and well. In this article, we will explain how to determine whether it needs rebuilding or repair. We will also tell you how to repair fireplace cracks yourself and let you know in which cases you should apply for professional fireplace repair services.

Inspecting a Fireplace

In most cases, proper assessment of the condition of your fireplace requires considerable expertise, and we strongly recommend that you contact some fireplace repair contractors, even if you want to do the job yourself afterwards.

Obviously, there must be some problem if your fireplace starts a fire, and you should do something about it very soon, before you have to restore the entire house too. But there are many other, barely perceptible indications for restoration work, such smoke or moisture leakage and slight displacement of bricks.

In addition, your fireplace might not function well if its physical parameters have been incorrect from the start. For example, it may not draw properly if the lintel is too close to the throat.

Using the wrong type of fuel is another common mistake.

Other causes of fireplace damage include:

  • Excessive external painting
  • Cracked tiles and hearth
  • Defects in the metal structures

Moreover, both the fireplace and the chimney require regular sweeping, which most people do not do often enough. Incidentally, sweeping will also be necessary before inspecting or restoring an old fireplace. This is a very intricate and messy part of the job, and you will do well to leave it to the professionals.

Note: you will definitely need to sweep a piece if it has not been used for a long time.

Brick Fireplace Crack Repairs

One thing you can easily do yourself is repair cracks inside a fireplace, especially minor ones, provided you have the following at hand:

  • Cement Detergent Gloves
  • Pointing trowel Scouring pad Water

All you do is:

1. Clean the bricks and leave them to dry.
2. Use a trowel to fill the cracks with cement and remove excess binder from the surface.
3. Heat the piece, increasing the temperature gradually for about four hours.
4. Leave it to chill until the bricks are cold, and the cement is dry.
5. See if there are still any cracks left, in which case simply repeat the procedure.

However, you absolutely must contact masonry fireplace contractors if the cracks are wider than six inches or run diagonally and vertically.

Conclusion

Both the evaluation and the restoration of a fireplace can be quite tricky for an amateur. If you want to apply for professional fireplace construction, restoration or repair works, feel free to call us on 847 922 33 79, and we will guarantee you high quality masonry services at a very competitive price.