In a masonry fireplace, firebrick is used to make the firebox, while refractory brick panels line a firebox of a prefab metal fireplace. Both bricks and fireclay mortar are designed to withstand very high temperatures, but brick, mortar and panels can crack or even crumble over time. If parts from manufacturer are unavailable, there are aftermarket replacement materials available.
The firebox is the most visible part of the chimney and fireplace system, and it is the interior of the fireplace where the fire is built. Because it is easy to inspect, homeowners can regularly check to determine when mortar joints require repairs, or tuck pointing. If too many joints are deteriorating or numerous bricks are cracking or becoming loose, the entire firebox may need to be repaired.
A prefab firebox will usually have one to two inch refractory panels on the back and side walls. If these require replacing, our fireplace technicians will attempt to find parts from the original manufacturer. However this is not always possible, and the entire unit may need to be replaced.
Cracked or deteriorating brick or mortar, typically in the back wall, is one of the most common problems with the firebox. Cracks in the walls of your fireplace or the interior chimney lining are considered a serious fire hazard. This is because smoke carries waste from the fire, which eventually causes deposits on the walls, inside and behind these cracks. These deposits, called creosote, can reignite from sparks, potentially causing extensive damage to your home.
Cracked mortar may be repaired by chiseling away cracked areas and tuck pointing with fireclay. If a brick is broken, the affected wall will probably need to be rebuilt with new firebrick and fireclay.
Panels of prefabricated fireplaces can also develop extensive cracks or even start to crumble. In this case, the panels must be replaced.
If you notice cracks in your firebox, do not ignore them! They can be repaired if they have not become too wide. Safeguard your home and the lives of your family members by having this problem dealt with before using your fireplace.
No matter what fireplace you have, it is important to get it evaluated annually & cleaned as needed.
FOR CHIMNEY OR DRYER VENT CLEANING, CONTACT US TODAY!