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  1. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    devon uk
    Hi guys,

    Im a single girl in the middle of doing up an old house and the fireplace was used up until I took over the house but on inspecting it I really don't think it should have been used, there is severe cracking in the concrete on all three sides of the fire place, What should I use on it to seal it, any advise gratefully (pardon the pun) received, as im on a strict budget and doing all the diy myself, I have been told to remove the loose render and use the no nonsense fire cement, do you think that will do the job,
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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
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    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum Jenny.

    I hate to say it but there is no way I'd burn in that. Perhaps some others will make some better suggestions and if so, I'll leave it to them. In the meantime, you also need to check the full length of the chimney to make sure that part is okay. Many times we find they are not and you don't want any house fire for sure.

    Good luck.
  3. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
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    14
    Loc:
    devon uk
    Thanks hun, this is why I thought I would come on here and ask for some advice, I cant believe previous occupants used it, ( it still had wood in it when we took over) I do have a chimney sweep coming during the week, but how do I find out about the rest of the chimney, im new to this im afraid and wouldn't even know who to ask,
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Jenny, the sweep will be able to check that. He can also look at the fireplace. It is good you have called him.
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  5. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Jul 12, 2006
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    4,785
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    Schenectady, NY
    The sweep should be able to tell you if the chimney is safe and what work it might need.

    Matt
  6. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    Sep 13, 2013
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    Loc:
    devon uk
    Thank you will keep you posted lol and fingers crossed as the central heating isn't working yet neither and im out of wooley socks lol
  7. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    The chimney sweep is your friend. Have him inspect the entire system from the fireplace to daylight and give you some professional assessment & recommendations. This is not a simple project. What's your eventual plan for this fireplace? Keep in touch with us here, and welcome to the forums! Rick
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Jenny, do you know just how old this house is?
  9. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    Loc:
    devon uk
    my plan was to keep it original as this is a 200 year old cottage and its in a conservation area and ive restored her back to the original beams etc and any other fire in here would not look right so it has to be an open coal/wood fire. Plus I like toasted marshmallows lol
  10. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    M-m-m me too. Sounds like the right thing to do with the lovely old place. I'd really like to see a few more pics, inside & out if you're so inclined. Rick
  11. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    Sep 13, 2013
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    14
    Loc:
    devon uk
    if your on facebook add me Fiona laing blonde hair in black top in front of a royal navy search and rescue helicopter I have an album on there full of pics of the house
  12. Cynnergy

    Cynnergy Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Messages:
    244
    Loc:
    Coast, BC
    Hi Jenny,

    The folks here are wonderful and will give you lots of good advice. Most of us are based in North America, but the principles of burning wood are international! Hubby is a Brit and we lived in the UK for 5 years - Devon is lovely, you are a lucky gal. At one point we lived in a terrace and our neighbours burned a lot of coal. Not so good with the washing on the line, but a nice scent at other times. Historic. Just make sure to keep the marshmallows over the wood-only fire!
    fossil likes this.
  13. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    Loc:
    devon uk
    Thanks cynnergy, and yes I am very lucky living in devon, its all thatched cottages and open fields but will be much nicer when I get this fire sorted, I have 5 of them to sort out (1 in each lounge, 1 in the dining room, and one in the bedroom ) The one in the drawing room is huge you can stand up in it, but previous people took the burner and there is just a tube hanging from the inside of the chimney so not sure what I will do with that yet,
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Bend, OR
    Ask your sweep to look at all of them...they really need a professional inspection. (No, I haven't forgotten your budget comment...but this is safety stuff). Rick
  15. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    devon uk
    Rick with it comes to safety I wont take risks, im a single mum of 2 girls ive got carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in nearly every room as im paranoid about it,
    stoveguy2esw and fossil like this.
  16. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Colorado Rockies
    Yes, even if the fireplace proper can be patched, and perhaps it can if there are no burnable parts of the house [read: wood] affected, the chimney may be in as bad a shape and that will be the killer. The chimney, if it's bad, may be repairable, too, but the cost may be prohibitive. The really good solution would be to tear it all out, save the stones for re-use, and rebuild it. But that will be a bundle of British pounds. Good luck and let us know what the sweep finds. That firebox area is deteriorated.

    I know someone over there who can do the work and is very, very good, but he's in Wales and that may not work, and you may not want to spend the money in any case. The chimney, if it's bad, scares me more than the firebox because you cannot see what is going on in it.
  17. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    sorry but this may sound like a silly question, but how will a chimney sweep know if the chimney itself is safe? I thought it was all brushes? (sorry if I sound nieve)
  18. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    The sweep may be equipped to run a camera up/down the full length and take pictures/video of it. If it's been abused it probably won't take much more than a peek with a flashlight from the top/bottom.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  19. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    devon uk
    thanks rdust for the heads up, ive just emailed the sweep now asking for a full inspection,
  20. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    like Rdust said, a qualified sweep will know what he is looking at, one look at that fireplace and he's going to tell you straight on, no burning not a matchstick. but i true pro will check the entire system and tell you what the options are.

    BTW , welcome to the hearth, you will simply not find a finer group of people anywhere
    teutonicking and jennywren like this.
  21. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    madison hgts. va

    this may be good!, if the flue system is ok there a stove may be possible which could heat a generous area. shoot a pic of this one and lets see what we have to work with
  22. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    Loc:
    devon uk
    just had the chimney sweep out and he has inspected the chimney and its got a clean bill of health, s with regards to the cracking lining at the bottom, the house is solid and there is no wood or any other accelerators in the lum, so he has removed all the cracked lining and said its safe to use, but does advice having it reskimmed at one point and he will come and do it in January when he comes to re sweep the chimney. so im going to light it tonight and enjoy our first open fire. Now to decide on what wood is best

    he also had a look at the other large fireplace but this has been lined and we noticed a gas pipe, so looks like that chimney is redundant,
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    and as for the huge fireplace in what was the old kitchen, ive decided to keep it shut as its such a huge thing. (plus my wine rack looks pretty snazzy in it lol)
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    but guys thank you sooooooo much for all your help and advice its been very much appreciated,

    xxxxxx
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  23. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Enjoy! Those are some beautiful shows of old world craftsmanship.
    Must be a beautiful place.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. jennywren

    jennywren New Member

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    Sep 13, 2013
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    Loc:
    devon uk
    thank you hogwildz its a typical devon farmhouse but I do love her with all her beams and old fireplaces, I just want to take her back to what an old farmhouse should be, and am busy sourcing what we call a pot belly stove for the larger fireplace, as ive heard there are gas ones available,
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    It's only paranoia if the threat isn't real. ;) When folks tell me they're paranoid about fire I often find that in reality they are just a lot more self aware of the true danger of fires.
    Cynnergy and stoveguy2esw like this.

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