08000199553

ServicesFireplace Repair / Restore >> – Dynamic Property Care UK

Arrange A Free Survey

Telephone Number : 0800 019 9553

Fireplace Repair / Restore

An outside fireplace

A fireplace is a structure made of brick, stone or metal designed to contain a fire. Fireplaces are used for the relaxing ambiance they create and for heating a room. Modern fireplaces vary in heat efficiency, depending on the design.

Historically they were used for heating a dwelling, cooking, and heating water for laundry and domestic uses. A fire is contained in a firebox or firepit; a chimney or other flue allows exhaust to escape. A fireplace may have the following: a foundation, a hearth, a firebox, a mantelpiece; a chimney crane (used in kitchen and laundry fireplaces), a grate, a lintel, a lintel bar, home overmantel, a damper, a smoke chamber, a throat, and a flue.

On the exterior there is often a corbeled brick crown, in which the projecting courses of brick act as a drip course to keep rainwater from running down the exterior walls. A cap, hood, or shroud serves to keep rainwater out of the exterior of the chimney; rain in the chimney is a much greater problem in chimneys lined with impervious flue tiles or metal liners than with the traditional masonry chimney, which soaks up all but the most violent rain.

Types of fireplaces

  • Manufactured fireplaces are made with sheet metal or glass fire boxes.
  • Electric fireplaces can be built-in replacements for wood or gas or retrofit with log inserts or electric fireboxes.
  • A few types are, wall mounted electric fireplaces, electric fireplace stoves, electric mantel fireplaces and fixed or free standing electric fireplaces.

Masonry and prefabricated fireplaces can be fueled by wood, natural gas, biomass and propane fuel sources.

History

Ancient fire pits were sometimes built in the ground, within caves, or in the center of a hut or dwelling. Evidence of prehistoric, man-made fires exists on all five inhabited continents. The disadvantage of early indoor fire pits was that they produced toxic and/or irritating smoke inside the dwelling.

Chimneys were invented in northern Europe in the 11th or 12th centuries and largely fixed the problem of fumes, more reliably venting smoke outside. They made it possible to give the fireplace a draft, and also made it possible to put fireplaces in multiple rooms in buildings conveniently. They did not come into general use immediately, however, as they were expensive to build and maintain.

Evolution of fireplace design

Over time, the purpose of fireplaces has changed from one of necessity to one of visual interest. Early ones were more fire pits than modern fireplaces. They were used for warmth on cold days and nights, as well as for cooking. They also served as a gathering place within the home. These fire pits were usually centered within a room, allowing more people to gather around it.

Many flaws were found in early fireplace designs. Along with the Industrial Revolution, came large scale housing developments, necessitating a standardization of fireplaces. The most renowned fireplace designers of this time were the Adam Brothers. They perfected a style of fireplace design that was used for generations. It was smaller, more brightly lit, with an emphasis on the quality of the materials used in their construction, instead of their size.

By the 1800s most new fireplaces were made up of two parts, the surround and the insert. The surround consisted of the mantlepiece and sides supports, usually in wood, marble or granite. The insert was where the fire burned, and was constructed of cast iron often backed with decorative tiles. As well as providing heat, the fireplaces of the Victorian era were thought to add a cozy ambiance to homes.

Typical issues with period fireplaces

Issues include layers of overpainting, damaged tiles, cracked hearths, disfigured firebacks and missing or harmed metal components. Some of these issues can be tackled by a competent DIYer, such as removing paint with chemical stripper (the Victorian Society recommends avoiding a heat gun, because it can crack old metal).

If your cast-iron fireplace just needs a cosmetic spruce-up, buff it with a specialist polish such as Liberon paste, or cover it with matt black fireplace paint specially formulated for higher temperatures. You’ll need to call in the professionals for missing or damaged metal components. A restorer should be able to recast features such as hoods and grates.

Stonework can also be cleaned, restored and resealed, usually in situ, while new hearths (in standard sizes or custom-made to your dimensions) are widely available online, or try your local granite/marble yard.

If a fireplace is very dilapidated, you may be better off starting again, with a good-quality replica or a reclaimed model (restorers often also deal in good-quality salvaged examples).

Exposed brickwork

If you want a bare-brick fireplace with no mantel – a clean, minimal setting for a woodburning stove – don’t expect to find perfect brickwork lining the original opening. It’s often a mess, using offcut bricks and rough mortar, because it was intended to be covered with a fireback.

Slotting in a made-to-measure brick-faced chamber will restore a neat finish – but many opt to render it, or line it with a non-combustible board.

For free advice and if needed a free quotation please call 0800 019 9553 or click here.

 

See Home Page here

 

 

 

 

Do you require our Specialist Property Services? Get your FREE home survey, today!

16 July 2019

References

  • Cyclex
  • FreeIndex
  • Yell
Latest Testimonials

Arrange A Free Survey

References

  • Cyclex
  • FreeIndex
  • Yell

Site designed & developed by Oyster Creative