A fireplace can add a lot to any home. It not only warms up the place but also adds charm to the ambiance of the house. Like the welcome mat at the door that says “come in”, a fireplace is an invitation to get cozy. Many think that all they need to do is position a log on the fire every once in a while and haul their ashes out.
There’s more to it than that, actually. There’s also the matter of long-term safety. It’s important to know that a crack in the fireplace, one of the masonry issues you face in having a fireplace, is the most dangerous of them all, and your house ought to be guarded against it immediately.
Worries About a Fireplace
There are four kinds of fireplaces in use now. There’s the wood-burning fireplace. Another one is the energy-efficient gas type. There’s also the low-cost electric version that uses a fake flame to simulate the traditional fireplace. Lastly, there’s the environmentally friendly type that burns ethanol in a safe container. We’ll be focusing on the wood burner and the concerns that go with it.
1. It fills the room with smoke. This might have to do with how you’re starting the fire. To make sure that you avoid creating an initial backdraft that may fill the living room with smoke that can even trigger the alarm, light up your roll of newspaper and position it into the chimney above the firebox. Wait until you create enough warmth to suck the air in the house into the fireplace. After that, you can focus on burning the wood.
2. A Blocked Chimney. This can lead to a chimney fire and spread from there. The smoke passageway can easily be clogged by animals nesting inside, using debris from trees like leaves, twigs, or seeds. Over time, this spreads and can burst into flame. No house is safe from fire, not even one that’s made of concrete blocks and brick walls. One must remember that the hazard of a fireplace extends all the way up to the chimney.
3. The Need for a Carbon Monoxide Detector. If you have a fireplace, you must have a CO detector. The unfinished burning of wood creates carbon monoxide. It’s always a good idea to install this gadget in your house. Wood smoke is harmful. It pollutes the house and the environment. Aside from having a CO detector, the best way to address this is to have the chimney swept and the fireplace flue inspected.
The Biggest Trouble of All
A crack is something to be worried about. Fireplaces have at least two fireproof layers around their fireboxes. When a crack forms, the danger of flames reaching combustible materials beyond it arises. Embers can enter the opening, get stored inside, and start a full-blown fire. A crack, no matter how small, should be treated as a fire hazard. If you see a crack, there’s no other step to take but to fix it…excuse me for shouting… IMMEDIATELY!
DIY or Call the Pros?
When you see tiny hairline fissures in the firebox, you can buy fireplace sealant to patch them up. It’s a non-flammable compound that becomes rock-hard when exposed to fire. Clean out the split and the surrounding area as best you can by removing loose bits and pieces. Then fill up the break with the sealant. If it’s a repair job involving thin cracks, you can do it yourself.
For larger cracks and holes, however, you’ll need the services of a certified mason. It’s best to use the phone, not the sealant, for masonry issues bigger than a hairline. The danger is too great if you do it as a DIY project. Get the help of professionals for your fireplace and chimney. Call Brick 1 Masonry instead. Our phone number is 918-698-3573. For more information, feel free to browse through our website. We also offer more services aside from repairing fireplaces.