We initially estimated this home for an aesthetic remodel, the homeowner wanted to remove the existing mantle, hearth extension, fireplace doors and re-face the wall with concrete block then Veneer the block with stone. However, after removing the fireplace face we found the internal fireplace breast and smoke chamber to have inadequate clearance. We also found the firebox improperly supported, broken, and without a proper concrete block foundation underneath it. The fireplace was also lacking a fresh air intake.
This fireplace was very near having a fire, as you can see below. This charred wood was removed from the fireplace surround.
In addition to the other problems found during demolition. This firebox was build from standard brick, which is not meant to handle to heat stress from a fire. Refractory brick (Commonly referred to as fire brick) should always be used inside the firebox. A refractory brick is built primarily to withstand high temperature, but will also usually have a low thermal conductivity for greater energy efficiency. Usually dense firebricks are used in applications with extreme mechanical, chemical, or thermal stresses, such as the inside of a wood-fired kiln or a furnace, which is subject to abrasion from wood, fluxing from ash or slag, and high temperatures
To ensure a safe, up to code fireplace and chimney for this homeowner, Portland Fireplace and Chimney will remove this fireplace chimney, and build a new fireplace chimney out of concrete block on a new foundation (With seismic reinforcement). We will then build a new fire box with fire brick and fire clay, and a new damper. This new fireplace and chimney will outlast us, and ensure the homeowners can safely enjoy this feature in their home. Have a fireplace or chimney concern? Call Portland Fireplace and Chimney today! 503-758-4710