Often the beautiful centerpiece of your main living space of your home, your fireplace is an area you want to maintain both in appearance and in security; however, did you know that the firebox, the most visible part of your fireplace and its chimney, is vitally important to these aspects? If you suspect there has ever been a chimney fire or if you see any cracks in your firebox, you should call us at Clean Sweep Anne Arundel County for a chimney inspection today so we can talk to you about replacing your firebox in your chimney.
Masonry or Pre-Fab?
It’s important to know what kind of firebox your chimney has, and that depends on what kind of fireplace you have in your home. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, there are two types of fireplaces: masonry and pre-fabricated metal. To discover exactly which type of firebox you have, all you have to do is take a close look at your fireplace and look up your chimney a bit.
Made exclusively from brick, a masonry firebox is easily distinguishable by its yellowish firebrick around the fireplace in the room. If you look up your chimney past the damper, an affair built from brick in a pyramid shape should be visible. You will also see a brick chimney above the roof.
With metal usually seen all around the firebox in the fireplace in the room, a pre-fabricated metal fireplace is also easy to pick out. Similarly, you will see more metal looking up the damper, and its chimney is also made of metal, although most often it will be surrounded by brick above the roof to look like a typical chimney.
Do I need a Firebox Replacement?
Since it is unsafe to use a fireplace without a sound and sturdy firebox, it is essential to know if your firebox needs replacing. If you do have a pre-fabricated metal fireplace, sometimes you will only need to have the cracked or damaged metal panel pieces replaced. However, as these pieces must be properly resized and cut, this job should only be done by certified chimney technicians, like us at Cleen Sweep Anne Arundel County. We are also qualified in masonry fireplaces and will be able to completely rebuild your masonry firebox or even restoring the original one by re-pointing the mortar and bricks if possible.
Waterproofing Masonry Fireplaces
If you do have a masonry fireplace, one important thing you should know is its chimney needs a water repellant to protect it from leaks that penetrate the mortar joints between the stone or bricks. Damage from water leaks can cause cracking, which may lead to a leaning chimney, a very expensive problem to fix. Again, a certified chimney technician is essential for this task as the wrong type of water repellant can cause damage by trapping in moisture, which will condense and expand in freezing weather, causing more cracking.
So, if you want to be sure your beautiful fireplace will last you for winters to come, give us a call today at Clean Sweep Anne Arundel County to schedule a chimney inspection to see if you need a firebox replacement.