If you notice a crack in your fireplace you cannot just ignore it. You will lose heat or if you have a large crack this may be dangerous. Here are some things to do if your fireplace cracks.
What to Do if Fireplace Cracks
Cover Small Crack
If the cracks are small or thin then they can be covered. If they are around the walls or the bottom of the fireplace they should not be difficult to fix. The smaller cracks are not too dangerous but they need to be taken care of before they get bigger and pose a threat.
You will need to remove everything from the firebox and give it a good cleaning. All dirt and dust should be removed. You should vacuum it out to remove as much of this debris as possible. Filling in the cracks is easy.
You will need to purchase fire cement. The fire cement can be applied to the cracks with a spatula to fill them in. You may need to mix this cement with water if it did not come ready to use. you will then need to allow the cracks to dry.
It can take only a few hours or it may take a day or two. Once the cracks are filled and everything is dry you can use the fireplace as usual.
Repairing Large Cracks
If there are large cracks or just a single large crack you may want to replace the panel. This will be the safest option in the long run. If there are large cracks in the panels they cannot safely contain the fire. The panels are the walls of the fireplace.
There is a back panel and there are panels on each side. You will need to measure the panels to make sure you get the correct size. You may need to go to a fireplace store to find the correct parts or contact a chimney sweep.
Some screws or clips hold the panels in place. You will need to undo them so you can remove the panel. The panels are fragile so keep this in mind. Once you have removed the old panels you can put the new ones in their place and clip them in.
Once again be careful as they are delicate and can break easily if they are moved around.
If the cracks are very large or if you have no idea how to fill them in you need to call in a professional. Large gaps can compromise the safety of your home so you want to have a chimney professional look at the cracks.
They will also check for cracks in the chimney and areas that you may not be able to see. After their inspections, you may be able to take care of things yourself.
If not you can work with a professional to make your fireplace safe again. Cracks in the fireplace need to be taken seriously and may need a professional to fix them.
If you see cracks in the mortar joints you need to fill them in. If the cracks are small you may be able to use fireplace mortar to fill in the areas. These cracks are generally not dangerous but they still need to be fixed.
You will need to clean out the fireplace and vacuum out all debris. If there is loose mortar around the cracks this will need to be removed.
You may need to use a chisel so that the old mortar is out of the way. You can then put the new fireplace mortar in the cracks. You need to allow this to dry before using the fireplace.
If you notice any cracks in the fireplace you need to take action. You may be able to fix smaller cracks by yourself. Larger cracks may need to be handled by a professional. These cracks need to be repaired so you do not compromise the safety of your home and your family.