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Firebox Replacement and Repair

The firebox is the part of the fireplace system that contains intended fires. It is the “fire pit” in the system, the place where you build and start your fires. It is also designed to contain heat from those fires and prevent it from reaching the structure of your home.

Replacing Your Firebox - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MI

As a result, damage to it – as well as basic incompatibility with the rest of the fireplace system – needs correction through either repair or replacement. Cracks in fire bricks or refractory panels are cracks in your home’s defense against fire. If the firebox is an insert that really does not fit the rest of your system, you are probably losing both draft and cash.

What to Do?

Without inspecting your system, we really cannot say whether repair is an option for the cracks you see. In general terms of fireplace health, it is important to diagnose the underlying cause before attempting to treat the symptom. That said, minor firebox cracks can usually be filled with special fire clay or refractory mortar.

Crumbling firebrick or extensive cracking require more significant ‘repair’ for problems that may have more worrisome causes. Either means removal and replacement of the damaged components, whether bricks or panels. Panels are generally easier to re-place than bricks but the only bricks that have to come out are the damaged ones.

If the problem that needs correction is a bad fit of firebox to system, again, it really needs to be seen to address it. However, it is common for an existing flue to be too large for an inserted firebox. In that case, it is impossible for the chimney over the firebox to ‘withdraw’ air from the fireplace effectively. That has consequences for both safety and utility bills but repair or replacement cannot be determined until a full inspection has taken place.