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Chimneys and fireplaces should be inspected at least once a year to be sure they are clean and ready for use during the winter months. Masters Services certified chimney technicians have twenty plus years of inspecting and cleaning both chimneys and fireplaces. During an initial inspection, a Masters Services technician might see cracks or gaps in the fireplace that could require repairs to be sure the fireplace is working efficiently and isn’t a fire hazard. Additionally, if you, the homeowner, should also notice cracks or concerns and want to be sure your fireplace is safe and ready for winter, contact the experienced and knowledgeable technicians at Masters Services for Houston fireplace repairs.
The lintel bar is at the front of the firebox and is responsible for holding up the bricks for the opening of the fireplace. Upon inspection, a certified chimney technician may notice that the lintel bar is missing mortar. This will require fireplace repairs in Houston to guarantee the safety and effectiveness of your fireplace and chimney. Gaps in the mortar of the lintel bar are a fire hazard because smoke and embers will get behind the fireplace. Additionally, the chimney won’t be as effective in drawing the smoke up and out if the lintel bar has gaps that suck in smoke and air. A Masters Services technician will replace missing mortar so that no smoke or embers can pass through and will seal off the lintel bar as it should be. Some openings can be rather large, so a screen is used to hold the mortar in place for a longer period of time. Masters Services is knowledgeable in all matters of Houston fireplace repairs and will have your lintel repaired in no time.
Bricks in and around the firebox could also lose mortar over time. Moisture in the flue is what initially causes cracking. The first step is to ensure no more cracks occur. Because moisture is getting in, a Masters Services chimney technician will recommend adding a chimney cap or replacing the existing chimney cap if it is no longer doing its job to prevent moisture from entering the chimney and fireplace. Houston fireplace repair specialists at Masters Services use tuck pointing, which is when a mortar compound fills in cracks or gaps in the mortar joints of the fireplace itself to correct cracks or gaps in the mortar between bricks. Cracks in the mortar will allow heat to escape through the back or sides of the firebox. A fireproof mortar will seal these cracks so that heat stays in the fireplace and smoke flows up through the chimney.
Some fireboxes aren’t made from brick, but rather prefabricated refractory panels that are prone to breaking and could need to be replaced often. While our chimney technician can and will replace these panels for you as needed, this can be a costly fireplace repair in Houston. To avoid broken refractory panels, our experts suggest installing reflector shields to protect the panels and decrease chances of firewood crashing into the panel and causing it to break. These reflector shields act as a barrier between the firewood and the prefabricated fireplace panels. The shields reflect heat so that heat from a fire won’t cause cracking to occur. If not replaced as necessary, cracked prefabricated fireplace panels can become a dangerous fire hazard. For an added benefit, customizable reflector shields are available in a few different designs and patterns. Contact Masters Services to find out more about how a reflector shield can keep your fireplace from needing costly fireplace repairs in Houston.