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Old 03-06-2018, 12:23 AM
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Default Fireplace Fix?

OK builders, whatcha think on this?

My house was built in 1920. The fireplace's firebox is getting into rough shape. We had someone come out and re-grout it when they did a chimney sweep, but now the grout is showing it's just falling out again.

I'm thinking of two things:

1) Rip out the firebox and re-do it. I hate to think of what that would cost to have someone do it. I'd think I could probably do it, but I haven't done enough research on fireboxes yet.

2) Leave the firebox, and have some steel cut to size, and weld in place, effectively shoring up the failing bricks and covering them.

3) Something else.

Anyone been through this?
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:38 AM
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It never gets cold enough here to have a fireplace, so I can't help you there
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:22 AM
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If you went with 1/2" or 3/4" steel for your back wall, you'd get great heat retention and reflection in to your room
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:32 AM
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Personally, I would repair the grout again and get a fireplace insert wood stove. 10x better for heating with.

If you use it more for ambiance than heat, I would get the firebox redone. The problem I see with using steel is the firebox could continue to degrade behind the steel, which could lead to a serious fire hazard, particularly in a century old (most likely hardwood timber framed?) house.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:05 AM
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Yeah it's not a heating issue, it's Texas, so I use it about 4 times a year for fun. You think that's a fire hazard? I would think that the steel would "keep the bricks in place" and even if there are cracks, no flames could lick into there, and that would be good. Anickode what am I not thinking about?
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:35 PM
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Shotcrete it and forget it.
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertdjung View Post
Yeah it's not a heating issue, it's Texas, so I use it about 4 times a year for fun. You think that's a fire hazard? I would think that the steel would "keep the bricks in place" and even if there are cracks, no flames could lick into there, and that would be good. Anickode what am I not thinking about?
Radiant heat off the back of the steel. If the mortar continues to degrade and the bricks come out of place, even slightly, it could expose whatever is behind to significant radiant heat. What is the construction of the rest of the fireplace structure? Entirely masonry, stone, etc? Just thinking about all possibilities.
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:28 PM
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Pretty sure it's masonry, but I haven't stuck my flashlight up there and looked around. The outside is brick.
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:19 PM
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So, behind the fire brick is more brick. I just don't see this as a problem to put metal in front of the brick to shore it up. Anyway, I'm going to look at tearing the box out and re-doing it myself, but I'm still on the fence.
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