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Common Firebox Repairs

The firebox is designed for exposure to high heat, smoke, and gases. It is designed to contain all of these things and direct them out of the chimney and out of your home. When your firebox has cracks, holes, or is improperly installed or fitted to your flue, your family is put at risk of fire, smoke inhalation, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Water Damage

When water gets into the brick and mortar of your firebox as a result of a leaky chimney, you will inevitably see severe deterioration. Water can suck the lime out of the brick, leaving holes, cracks, and gaps inside of the actual masonry. Water or water vapor can also get trapped inside of the brick, freezing and thawing repeatedly, and causing the brick to crumble internally. Water causes spalling, cracks, and efflorescence, leaving your once-beautiful brick splotchy, uneven and unsafe. Basically, any time your masonry mixes with water, it is structurally compromised. If we discover any signs of water damage in your firebox, we will work diligently to locate the source of the leak(s) before repairing the affected brick and mortar.

Poor Design/Improper Installation

Many times, a firebox can be a source of problems as a result of poor design or improper installation. There are many things to consider when designing and building a masonry fireplace and chimney and, if the builder does not have a comprehensive understanding of the chimney system, he may make devastating mistakes.

One thing to consider when designing and building the firebox is the type of brick and mortar being used. The firebox will have to withstand higher temperatures than the rest of the fireplace and chimney system and materials should be chosen accordingly. If low-quality bricks were used in your firebox, you may need a complete rebuild.

Another thing to take into consideration when designing or installing a firebox is the size of the unit in relation to the flue. If your firebox was built with too large of an opening, it may be allowing in more air than the chimney can handle. If this is the case with your firebox, a Chief chimney sweep may opt to install a smoke shield, which will reduce the air intake of your firebox and help with smoke or backdraft problems.


No matter how high-quality the masonry in your firebox, time and use can lead to cracks and gaps. Having your firebox regularly swept can protect you from extensive damages and catch cracks and gaps in the early stages. If your firebox suffers from minor cracks and gaps due to age but is still in good condition, we may opt to do some tuck pointing which involves removing old mortar and replacing it with new mortar. At Chief Chimney Services, Inc., we are perfectionists and guarantee all of our work, so you don’t have to worry!

Environmental Damages

Earthquakes can cause devastating cracks and crumbling within your firebox. If the damage requires more than just simple point tucking and patchwork, we may need to completely rebuild your firebox.

Strong storms can force huge gusts of wind, large quantities of water, and other debris into your chimney system if it is not properly protected. Much of this can settle down into the firebox and cause extensive damage. At Chief Chimney Services, Inc., we can give you a quality, thorough assessment of the damages and help you decide which option is best for your budget and situation.

Anytime your masonry is exposed to water, it is at risk of decay. When water leaks into your chimney and settles into the brick and mortar of your firebox, it can cause crumbling, cracking, spalling, and lime-leaching. In these situations, repairs can range from simple tuck pointing to a full rebuild.

Whatever the reason for your firebox damage, we are equipped to locate the source and make the necessary repairs so that you can get back to enjoying your fireplace and chimney system.

Click here to schedule an appointment online.

Your chimney crown takes a beating from the weather but is vital to the safe operation of your fireplace, so be sure to take care of this important masonry repair before serious problems can develop.

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Wow! A mother-daughter team, the most pleasant and professional of any chimney service I have encountered. Called in advance, showed up on time, explained everything in detail, was thorough and clean. In a profession full of questionable practices, this was a great experience and I would recommend Diane and Lauren without hesitation. ~ Zev Asch, East Northport, NY
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