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Firebox Repair

Chimneys and fireplaces are surprisingly complex structures. With so many different parts and pieces, damage or deterioration of hard to spot components often occurs. However, there is one part of the fireplace where damage is nearly impossible to ignore: the firebox.

A damaged firebox can be extremely frustrating to most homeowners. As the fireplace often cannot be used while the fireplace is damaged, many simply stop using their fireplace systems altogether, resigning it to mere decorative status. Instead of giving up on your fireplace, consider having the firebox repaired instead!

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What causes firebox damage?

Because fireboxes need to contain the heat from your fire, they are built to be sturdy and tough. However, just like the rest of your chimney system they can still be damaged or deteriorate over time. Below are some of the most common causes of firebox damage.

Improper installation: In order to function properly, fireboxes need to be built correctly and using the proper materials. Oftentimes, construction workers or other contractors may try to build a firebox themselves as a way to save money; while this cut costs, the resulting fireplace is often not built to industry standards. Because of the constant high heat from fires, fireboxes need to be built using firebrick and refractory mortar. If they are not, they will quickly deteriorate .

Settling: Even the most well-built homes settle over time. Unfortunately, this settling can greatly impact your fireplace and chimney. Chimney systems need strong concrete footings that are capable of standing up to the weight of the fireplace and chimney as well as stabilizing it against settling. However, if your fireplace was incorrectly installed settling may cause cracks to appear in the firebox. This issue is more than aesthetic; firebox cracks can allow heat to escape, putting the surrounding building materials at risk of accidental ignition.

Water entry: Water is one of the most dangerous and damaging forces to your chimney. If water is present in the firebox, it indicates that there is also water damage elsewhere in the chimney system. The masonry used to the construct the firebox is built to withstand heat – not water. Because of this, water can deteriorate the masonry joints; when combined with the high heat from fires, this deterioration quickens and intensifies. Similar to your chimney’s exterior, water damage can also cause the masonry in the firebox to crack and spall.

Repairing firebox damage

Many homeowners delay firebox repairs as they believe they are too costly or the entire chimney system will need to be replaced. However, many firebox issues can be resolved without the hassle of living in a construction zone.

Damage to firebox masonry joints from water entry or settling can be repaired through detailed tuckpointing work. Likewise, improperly built or installed fireplaces can be repaired using proper materials. We can even replace refractory panels from factory built fireplaces!

If your firebox has been damaged, contact Guaranteed Chimney Service today. Our expert technicians can work with you to bring your fireplace back to its former glory, no matter how long it has been damaged!

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