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Our Chimney Service Pros Repair & Replace Fireboxes

A firebox is the interior space in your fireplace where you burn wood. The refractory mortar and firebricks that are used to construct this area can withstand extremely high temperatures. However, they are still vulnerable to deterioration and degradation over time. It’s a good idea to have a certified chimney sweep and repair professional inspect the firebox along with the rest of the fireplace and chimney once a year. We inspect and look for cracks or damaged bricks or mortar. Our chimney professionals at Madeline Chimney and Masonry Pros located in College Park Md and serving all of Maryland and DC homeowners can repair or rebuild firebox’s that have deteriorated over time.

Does your firebox visibly look worn, cracked, rough, or deteriorated? As with any other appliance, the firebox will begin to wear down over time. As you burn a fire, the bricks, mortar, and materials that make up the fireplace and chimney heat up. Once the fire has burned out, the materials begin to cool. This heating and cooling cycle can cause the mortar to crack and fall out, leaving holes or gaps in the firebox that can let hot gases or burning embers escape into surrounding walls or living spaces, potentially causing a fire.

deteriorating brick mortar

Visible Signs of Mortar Damage

If you notice broken bricks or cracked mortar, contact a qualified chimney contractor. New fire bricks and refractory mortar can be built up inside of the original firebox allowing continued use of the fireplace. The fireplace floor will also be sealed with mortar to cover up cracks or small openings. This mortar is called “fireclay”. If the firebox is in relatively good shape and new bricks aren’t necessary, fireclay can be used to seal the walls of the firebox. A rebuilt firebox will look and work just like new, and the homeowner can rest assured the firebox is safe.

Moisture & Masonry Do Not Mix

Water is another major enemy of your chimney & fireplace that can lead to brick and mortar damage. When moisture saturates masonry, the integrity of the brick and mortar is compromised which can cause the mortar to chip away or the bricks to crack, separate, or erode. The best way to gauge the health of your firebox is to take a pointed tool, such as a screwdriver, and scrape the mortar joints inside your fireplace. If you notice that the mortar crumbles or falls out easily, you should call the pros at Madeline Chimney and Masonry to remove the old mortar and replace it with high-temperature cement. This is called tuckpointing and can be a great option to extend the life of your current firebox.

If your firebox houses a pre-fabricated metal fireplace insert, the panels may eventually need to be replaced after years of usage. If the firebox or old fireplace insert are in poor condition, a new fireplace insert is a great option. Currently, there is a plethora of different styles, colors, and types of fireplace inserts that can slide into your existing firebox to give it a fresh, new look. Wood, gas, or pellet stoves are also another option that you can consider in place of your old, worn-down firebox. Since the brick and masonry of the firebox won’t be subject to the heat of an open fire, additional wear and tear will be minimal if you add one of these heating appliances to your current fireplace structure.

firebox under construction

What Causes Firebox Damage?

There are a number of factors that could cause firebox damage, such as:

  • Improper or Poor Construction
  • Advanced Age
  • Water Damage

No matter what the cause of your firebox damage our licensed chimney repair technicians are here to help.

We Offer Fireplace Wall Replacement for Factory-Built Fireplaces, Too!

Every home feels instantly cozy and comfortable with the fireplace going. The warm, inviting flames lead to hours spent next to the fire. A damaged firebox can greatly take away from this experience and relaxation. If your firebox needs repair, it is important to take care of it right away. It can be dangerous to allow the bricks in the fireplace to crack or deteriorate.

Madeline Chimney and Masonry in Maryland are here to restore your firebox to its original quality. Our chimney firebox repairmen serve Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard, Anne Arundel, Frederick, and District of Columbia.

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