The chimney system is made up of many chambers, assemblies, units or appliances, and connections, and many refractory materials hold the heat in through all these parts and spaces. The firebox is the space which endures the most abuse and is often paid the least attention. The firebox is the fireplace itself–the space that holds the fire and endures the most heat for the longest periods of time. In order to do the job correctly and safely, the firebox should be constructed specifically for this workload, and maintained regularly.
Damage to the Firebox
If the firebox becomes damaged, it can mean life or death. Your home is made up of wood beneath wall coverings and floors and ceilings. Behind your firebox is some type of building material, and it’s most likely flammable. Even beams and walls with proper clearance can become brittle and weak when exposed to high temperatures over a fair amount of time. This puts your home at risk for fire as well as structural damage. Basically, if your firebox is damaged, have it repaired right away. Have it serviced on a regular basis to prevent serious damage. Call in the professionals. If you don’t schedule services with chimney professionals on a routine basis, you will have a very unexpected visit from the fire protection district in your city, and it will be about saving your life and your home when a little damage turns to disaster.
Common Firebox Damage
As often as you look into your fireplace to light a fire, you should notice damage to the firebox. The most common cause of firebox damage is water damage, but there are other causes, preventable and treatable.
Water Damage – Signs of water damage in the firebox include stains on the masonry, cracks or gaps in the masonry, vegetation growth, rusted doors, and metal components, and odors in the fireplace that indicate moisture, mold, and mildew.
Improper Installation/Construction – When the firebox isn’t constructed of proper refractory materials strong enough to withstand the extreme temperature of your fire, the masonry will become cracked and gaps will appear. You may even find pieces of mortar on the floor of the firebox. Smoke stains on the walls of the firebox may also be a construction issue, or from the fuel you’re burning. Be sure you’re only burning properly seasoned firewood in your fireplace.
Debris in the Fireplace – If your cap is dislodged, the firebox can be damaged by falling debris or even animals nesting in the system. They can scratch up the chimney interior, damaging masonry and leaving flammable materials behind.
Basically, any sign that your system isn’t working properly means your next call should be to a certified chimney professional. Only the professionals can properly repair and rebuild a firebox to bring comfort and safety back to your home.
Jacksonville’s Trusted Experts
For more than 30 years, Jacksonville homeowners have trusted Hudson Chimney with their homes. We specialize in masonry, and our masons use firebricks and refractory mortar to get the job done right. Your firebox will be safe for use, whether you use your fire daily or only periodically.
Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and have your firebox assessed and repaired now.