Fireplace neglected for years.. did my first cleaning.

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Dec 8, 2023
I bought my 1984 house last summer.. had a local HVAC/fireplace duct cleaning guy clean fireplace in the fall. He didn't do a great job, so this year I did it myself. Seems to be a heatform-style metal fireplace with fans in the brick surround (intakes on bottom, exhaust up top). There was no chimney cap when I moved in; I installed one last year. It's a single story and the bricks go all the way through the attic and out the roof.


When I started poking around today to clean, I found a 10lb pile of mortar on the smoke shelf (plus feathers, dirt, twigs, metal screen, etc.). I went ahead and removed the mortar and don't see any holes in the shelf. I assume it was from when it was built.

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After Video -

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I want to seal everything up the best I can as sometimes we get a faint smoke smell in master bathroom (directly behind fireplace), and I wonder if smoke is escaping outside the box via cracks in mortar, steel to brick connection at the base, or gaps around the gas-assist metal pipe (now abandoned) that comes through the steel.

I see some cracking in the mortar on the base bricks. Can I just patch up with some S-Type? Or does it need to be something special?
Last edited:
The flue should be video inspected all the way up for any cracks or missing mortar.
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