How to Reinstall a Broken Fireplace in 7 Steps

Whether gas or wood-burning, fireplaces are a cozy feature representing an epitome of the home for many homeowners. Yet, the masonry joints and brick may start to crack at some point, and this is an early sign that the fireplace is going to ruin. Repairing these cracks in the fireplace can help you save thousands of dollars in future repairs and ensure your family’s safety, as it reduces the possibility of a fire outbreak through the chimney. 

Leaving those small cracks unattended during the summer may lead to very large cracks when spring comes knocking, and it becomes more complicated. Letting these large cracks in your outer brick will allow rain, ice, and snow to get inside. The water finds its way through the flashing and the outer brick and may even go farther into the flue, and this causes far more damage. 

You can prevent this large damage by repairing the fireplace as soon as you notice it has broken with the following seven steps.

  1. Tuckpoint the brick mortar

Bricks are held together by mortar, but smooth and solid mortar may become battered due to other elements, and it starts crumbling. Mortar always deteriorates first because brick is harder. Tuckpointing or repointing allows you to scrape out the crumbly part and replace it with new mortar. 

You need a joint raker to scrap the weak and loose mortar and leave the good one in place. Then, use a garden hose to spray the brick down and leave it for 30 minutes and allow the roof to dry before continuing work. 

Mix up another batch of mortar till it has enough consistency and use a pointing trowel to press it into the cracks to match the existing mortar’s look. Finally, use a tuckpointing tool to smooth the joints down. 

  • Caulk around the crown and the flue

One way water can enter and cause damage in your home is the point that joins the crown and the chimney flue. Typically, it takes a while for gaps in this area to form, and water that gets to this point flows down through the flue’s sides. 

Clean out the debris, such as loose mortar and moss using a wire brush, and fill the gap with a complete caulk bead using a high-heat mortar tube and a caulk gun.

  • Patch cracks around the large crown

The crown is the sloping cap at the top of the fireplace. It’s there to protect the masonry and prevent water from staying over the top. When the crown starts to crack, this may give you more problems than those at the vertical section because water, snow, and ice quickly gather inside. 

If you have large cracks with a diameter between 1/8 and 1 inch around the crown, you can repair them using a pre-mixed mortar or cement patch. Use a squeeze bottle to inject the crack with your repair mix, or you can use a putty knife to force the repair mix in. Typically, it takes between four and six hours for it to cure, but wider cracks may require a longer time. 

  • Use a sealant to patch hairline cracks.

Hairline cracks, also known as spider cracks, are not treated the same way as large cracks because the mineral particles inside the mortar or patch are too large, so they can’t fit into the narrow space of the hairline crack. The solution to this problem lies in using a masonry sealer with a highly liquid consistency capable of penetrating through the hairline cracks. 

A bonus point is that this product seals up other porous parts of the crown and prevents additional hairline cracks. Scrape off loose particles with the corner of your putty knife but be careful not to enlarge the cracks. Then use a brush to apply the sealer. 

  • Repair cracked bricks

A caulk gun and high-heat mortar may repair chimney bricks with one or two small cracks. First, use a screwdriver or the edge of the putty knife to clean the crack. Then use a wire brush to sweep clean the crack. Next, squeeze high-heat mortar as far as you can into the crack.

Generally, unless it is a large crack, the mortar is unlikely to extend very far. So, with a glove on your finger, clean the mortar off the crack, and clean the areas surrounding the crack with a rag.  

If the cracks on the brick are clean hairline cracks, you can close them up using a masonry sealer and a brush.

  • Replace cracked bricks

If the bricks are severely damaged, you should remove and replace them. You can do this carefully without affecting the adjacent bricks. Use a flat-head screwdriver or masonry chisel to chip off the mortar from the bricks slowly. Boreholes through the mortar, with a masonry bit and a drill, speed up this process and reach farther back.

After you loosen the brick, pull it out with your hand and chip off the residual mortar from adjacent bricks with your hand to smoothen it. Butter all the sides of your replacement brick with a small trowel (except the back or front). Then gently push your replacement brick into place. Center it in a way that all the seams have equal width. Take off excess mortar and use a tuckpointing tool to smoothen the joints. 

  • Check the draught 

You can do this by lighting a candle and holding it in front of the fireplace opening. It should draw smoke and flame up the chimney. Otherwise, it means the chimney is not well capped off or blocked.

Conclusion 

You may not need all of these steps for all fireplace repair projects. It may just be cursory work for minor damage. However, you must examine the fireplace entirely and carefully to determine the full extent of any damage.

Author Bio

Leon Collier
Leon Collier

Leon Collier is a blogger and academic writer from the UK who works with essay help online as one of the dissertation writers. He likes trying new subjects and is always focused on proving his worth in new and challenging writing areas. His hobbies are reading books and playing pen and paper games with his friends. You can reach him via Twitter @LeonCollier12. 

Photo by Stéphane Juban on Unsplash

How to Prevent Making a Mistake as a First Time Home Buyer

Purchasing a house is a complicated, tiring process. Since there are lots of things to worry about, first time home buyers often make several mistakes. Before you do anything, take time to learn about the factors involved. If you want to have a great experience, follow these useful steps.

Preparation: Being Able to Afford a House

Buying  a house can be much easier when you’re prepared. Failing to prepare is one of the common mistakes made by home buyers. Establishing a budget, applying for a mortgage, and having money for a down payment are the three steps that will allow you to be ready.

  1. Budget

Houses on the market are currently set at higher prices today. Due to the skyrocketing costs, it is a challenge to find affordable options. Having a budget that works for you is crucial. If you happen to be purchasing with a partner, discuss a budget that works for both of you. When you know exactly what pricepoint of home you can afford, looking for a house is far less complicated.

  • Mortgage

Not everybody is able to apply for a mortgage. Without a mortgage, you can’t purchase a house. Before you shop, get preapproved for a mortgage. Not only will sellers be more likely to let you purchase, but being pre approved confirms you are able to do so. As long as you and whoever may also be involved has a positive credit score, then getting approved should be simple.

  • Down Payment

Another step forgotten by many is having money ready for a down payment. Even if you are approved for a mortgage, you need to pay the down payment before having ownership over the house. Down payments typically cost about 6% of your loan amount. Keeping your budget in mind, calculate what the down payment would be for you. You should have saved up for the extra costs in advance, but if not it’s time to start. Along with the down payment, there are other closing costs such as taxes. If you want to be fully prepared, save more than enough for a downpayment.

If you are able to complete those three steps, then you can afford to purchase a home. Don’t be unaware of your money situation, because that can lead to unwanted news, or embarrassment in front of sellers. When buyers have their money situation covered, they can then start to look at houses.

House Shopping: Selecting the Right Home

Finding the right house is a long journey. You have to know exactly what you want. It is a dangerous idea to settle for a house you don’t particularly like, this is because it will lead to huge regrets. Take the time to find your perfect home.

  • Ask Questions

Realtors are meant to inform you about anything related to the home they are showing you. If you have questions, ask them! Remember, you are the one looking to purchase a home. Become aware of what houses include, so you can quickly decide if they are potential options. Overall, questions save you time because you’ll immediately know if a particular home is meant for you.

  • Know Your Desired Features

When homes you’ve viewed are missing features you desire, then that’s a sign to keep searching. Knowing your desired features helps you avoid settling for a home you truly don’t love. If you want a home with a huge backyard, then don’t purchase one with a small backyard. Fulfilling every single feature you want is tricky, but you should make a list of what you want most in a home.

  • Keeping Budget in Mind

Don’t waste your time looking at homes that are way over your budget. Find houses you are interested in within your budget to make home shopping easier. Buyers who forget their budget often are disappointed if they can’t afford homes they’ve looked at.

Purchasing Your Home

Purchasing a home isn’t a race. It takes months, or even a couple of years for some. Eventually, you’ll be able to find your affordable dream home. As long as you are prepared and aware of what goes into purchasing a home, you are set!

Social media strategist Chrisitina Lee works at Custom essay, and State of writing. Chirsitina also writes about marketing topics on Order college paper and other sites.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians on Pixabay 

3 Tips for Choosing Cheap Houses

Getting our own house is what we wish for throughout our lives, and finding the one that suits our needs and is on a budget is like a dream come true. When buying a residential property, we seek help from brokers or real estate companies in Dubai to get our work done. At times, it might not be possible to find a home in your favorite neighborhood; however, you can find one in another area that will fit your demands. Here are three excellent tips that can help you find a home in lesser price:

Do a Survey:

As tiring as it may sound, but this is the crucial part of finding the right house. Seeing a lot of places help you decide what type of house you should expect for your budget. Doing a survey will help you redefine and readjust your demands and expectations according to your budget. Also, you will learn to differentiate if the amount the owner is asking for a house is justified or not.

Seeing too many cheap houses will help you find out the best of all. Visiting different neighborhoods will enable you to discover near areas within your city, which might be even better than the places where you wanted to live. Make sure you have seen a lot of houses before you make a final decision.

Consider Looking Outside the City:

 Truth to be told, the farther you move away from the metropolitan city, the lesser house prices you will find. This does not mean that you should consider buying a far-in middle of nowhere; instead, you should consider looking into housing societies developing in the outskirts of the city.

Although they might be far from your workplace and the central city, you can get a tremendous and even newly built house at a really low price. Considering the rapid urbanization and increasing population, there are great chances of cities to expand to their outskirts which means that the value of your property will surely rise in the upcoming years. Make sure to choose wisely!

Negotiate:

Never assume that the prices listed on a website or demanded by the owner are the final price. Always negotiate strongly as per your budget. Many sellers out there have already asked way more than the actual worth of the house to get to the accurate price when the buyer negotiates.

Do not let the fear of losing the deal make you purchase a house out of your budget. You will get the place you want within the price range you have; all you need is to be patient, look for many options, make a lot of offers, and finally end up locking a deal suitable for you. Negotiating with the seller is still the best-known way of getting a house at a lower price.

The Bottom Line:

You do not need to settle for an expensive house out of your fear of not getting a place at all. Buying a home is a tricky and lengthy process, particularly if you want to buy cheap houses. Look for newly developed societies. Talk to one or more brokers to ensure that you do not miss out on any great deal. Be consistent, keep searching; your dream house must be just a few days or months away from you!

Author: Jamie Roy