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I gave an old home and the fireplace on the outside shows cracks and shifted brick. I tried to use the fireplace and it was fine but eventually smokes started coming in the house. I know there are cracks but I'm looking for an inexpensive way to seal cracks on the inside so I can use the fireplace as I can't afford to fix it properly. Yes, the vent is open - I checked. I'm worried about using a spray sealant and actually really messing up my fireplace. Any suggestions?

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    Don't use the fireplace. Seriously. Google "carbon monoxide poisoning" if you want to know how this will play out if you keep using the fireplace. There is no way to fix it inexpensively. – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 21 '15 at 2:46
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate This is an answer and an important message. I suggest moving it below. – bib Dec 21 '15 at 14:59
  • @bib -- noted. I'll try and put something together, but anyone (everyone) is welcome to use my comment as a jumping-off point. I'd even upvote them! – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 22 '15 at 2:47
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Cracks shouldnt create backdraft. The vent may be open but my flues always seem to get clogged. Birds/squirrels love to make nests in them.

Best bet is hire a sweeper. Or at least go up on the roof and check its clear.

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