New answers tagged fireplace
You didn't mention what the opening was that the smell was entering the house with. If it is a thimble opening, you can block the opening with solid mineral wool insulation, cut to the size of the opening and fit snugly. This will stop the downward drafting. Add a thimble cap over the insulation and it will look fine. It also will stop cold air from entering ...
Yes, that is correct - sealing the top of the unused flue is best. Many possible approaches - a stainless steel cap and mortaring a tile over the flue opening are two that come right to mind. If you're not comfortable working up on the chimney top, hiring a chimney sweep might be best.
You might not get the original look back, but you can make it better. I'd take grinding wheel and cut a deep groove in the outer ring of mortar, then go to town on the bricks in the middle (as the groove will protect the older brick from damage). This will make quite a bit of dust, a dust shroud and HEPA vacuum rental are highly recommended, along with ...
Chimneys have a damper, which is a flap meant to be closed when the chimney is not in use. Look up from the inside of the hearth and you'll likely see a handle or chain. Generally you cannot see the sky, even with the damper open. If the house is new to you, but not new, have the chimney inspected, and the nice person who does the work will give you tips ...
I have a modern home that is sealed against draughts. If I light my wood burner and all the windows are closed, as the fire burns it reduces the pressure in the room. This causes the smoke to start coming back down the chimney and into the room. So a suggestion would be to ensure you have a window open before you light the fire.
Or... check if that's indeed a propane burning gas fireplace. With a tank outside. If the flue was designed for a gas insert, it's almost certainly not ready for a wood fire. This is a case where you want a professional to look at the situation.
Other factors that affect the safety of a fireplace are the entire surround of the insert, not just the flue. The question didn't mention just the flue. It may be a decorative fireplace designed just for gas inserts, and lined with fibre-board or bricks and mortar that are not fire-rated. Is the lining purely exposed brick? My parents bought a farmhouse ...
"Flue Blockage" is the generic answer, ranging from the sliding damper being closed to some kind of physical blockage. A fire doesn't need to be totally blocked for there to be smoke come back into the room. It is a simple case of pressure - if there's less pressure in the room than in a slightly-blocked flue you will still get smoke blow back into the room. ...
Damper closed - most likely. Chimney blocked - while "damper closed" is a self-correctable version of this, if the fireplace has not been inspected there may be anything from bird nests to parts of a chimney in serious disrepair blocking the flue. SO - before you become a statistic (of the chimney fire sort) call a chimney sweep and have the flue inspected ...
How about replacing the strips of hardwood you removed? This is an easy project for any finishing carpenter and most general handymen. You could either try to match the rest of the flooring—which isn't that hard. Or us a dark wood, maybe dark stained wood for some contrast.
Buy a small bag of concrete floor patch: it mixes like pancake batter and sets a light gray. This is what you fill that gap with. It gets hard as concrete and will adhere to the existing stone. If you don't want it to stick to the wood then mask off the wood before. It also helps to protect the top of the wood with masking tape. If you need more of a curb ...
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