Yes, it is possible to remove a brick hearth, although it is not an easy job and usually requires some special tools, including a sledgehammer, reciprocating saw, brick chipper, masonry drill bit, chisels, and a good pair of protective gloves, boots, and goggles.
First, all surrounding objects such as furniture and wall hangings should be removed from the area. Any gas or electricity lines in the vicinity should also be disconnected. The mantel and mantle frame should then be disconnected.
The grouting around the base of the hearth can then be removed using the chisels. The bricks can then be broken down using a sledgehammer, reciprocating saw, or brick chipper, depending on the type and thickness of the bricks.
Once all of the bricks have been removed, it is important to take time to remove the mortar from the area using a masonry drill bit and chisel. Finally, the area should be vacuumed, swept, and cleaned before being re-plastered, painted, or tiled as desired.
Can a hearth be removed?
Yes, a hearth can be removed depending on the type and size. Smaller hearths can often be removed without professional help, while larger or profusely decorative hearths need to be removed by a professional.
If you are considering removing a hearth, there are several elements to consider including cost, time, and safety. The cost depends on the size and complexity, while it usually takes several hours to complete the removal.
Most importantly, you need to ensure there is no gas or electrical wiring present before starting – extra precaution must be taken when removing a hearth. If you do choose to remove a hearth without a professional, be sure to take necessary safety measures and use the right tools for the job.
What is under a brick hearth?
Under a brick hearth, you may typically find the structural support for a freestanding fireplace, such as concrete, mortar, or timber substrate. Depending on when the fireplace was built, you may also find many other items underneath the brick.
Installers sometimes store extra materials that are to be used in the installation of the fireplace, such as sand, brick, stack brick, and wire mesh. Additionally, you may find channels, cutouts, or other nooks and crannies in the brick where you could loosely store small items such as kindling, matches, lighters, and wrought iron tools.
It is important to ensure the structure under the brick is properly maintained and not compromised. Make sure to regularly check the substrate itself for any cracking or crumbling, and ensure the mortar is tight and not cracked.
It’s also wise to inspect for animals or small creatures which could have made a small home in the hearth. This can be done by carefully lifting the edges of the brick and checking the corners, in addition to sweeping the area for any rodent feces or nests.
It’s also worth ensuring that the interior and exterior of the chimney are clean and free from debris, such as nests, twigs, and leaves.
Are hearths necessary?
Whether or not hearths are necessary depends on your lifestyle and how you use your home. A hearth can be a great addition to a home and provide a focal point for a living room or den. Fireplaces have the added benefit of providing a source of heat during colder months, but they also require regular tending and maintenance.
From a purely practical standpoint, they’re not necessarily required, but they’re certainly beneficial.
On the other hand, hearths can be a great way to add an extra bit of charm and character to a home. Nothing beats the comforting warmth and crackling of a fire on a cold winter evening, and it can provide a nice backdrop for conversations and holiday events.
Plus, a well-designed hearth can also add value to your home when it comes time to sell.
So in the end, the decision of whether or not a hearth is necessary depends on your own needs and preferences. They can be a great source of comfort and practicality, but they also need to be tended to and maintained.
Will removing fireplace decrease home value?
Removing a fireplace can have a negative effect on a home’s value, but it doesn’t have to be a long-term one. How much the decrease in value is depends on the type of home and the location of the fireplace.
Generally speaking, when a functional fireplace is removed from a home, its value could be decreased by 5 to 10 percent. If the fireplace is ornamental, such as a gas or electric insert, the decrease in value can be less.
When a fireplace is removed it is important that the contractor who is hired to do the job makes sure to complete the fireplace removal with the utmost care. If handled improperly, the fireplace could be damaged and the value of the home could be negatively affected even further.
When the fireplace is removed, it is important that the homeowner inspects the area around the fireplace thoroughly. This ensures that all dust, ashes, and debris left by the contractor is cleaned up thoroughly.
If a homeowner is planning to remove a fireplace they should be aware that they may need permits and inspections from their local government before the work can begin, and the work must be done in accordance with local building codes.
Overall, removing a fireplace can have a minor effect on a home’s value but can be mitigated if the job is completed in accordance with local regulations and with care. Homeowners should consult a local real estate expert to determine how removing a fireplace might factor into their home’s overall market value.
Is it expensive to remove brick?
It depends on several factors like the size of the job, the ease of access for the removal process, and the cost of the labor. Generally, removal of brick can be quite expensive, especially if it involves a large area.
If the brick is on an interior wall, removal is typically more expensive because labor costs will be higher due to the difficulty of the job and the need to work around structural supports. Additionally, if the bricks are secured well and need to be removed one by one it can become even more expensive.
Conversely, removal of a brick surface from an exterior wall may be slightly less expensive due to easier access for the brick removal process. Ultimately, the cost to remove brick will depend on the particular job, so it is best to get a quote from a professional.
Does a brick fireplace add value to your home?
Yes, a brick fireplace can add value to your home. Fireplaces are seen as a desirable feature by many home shoppers and can help increase the market value of your home. Not only do they add a nice visual element to a room, but they also provide additional warmth and can be used as a focal point when entertaining.
Furthermore, they are also a great source of saving energy in the colder months by providing an additional heat source. Additionally, brick fireplaces have improved in their styles and function over the years, making them an increasingly attractive option for potential buyers when searching for a new home.
How are fireplace surrounds attached?
Fireplace surrounds are typically attached to the fireplace unit by mounting brackets or screws. Depending on the material, type and style of the fireplace surround, there are several specific installation methods that should always be followed.
For stone fireplace surrounds, mounting brackets and fasteners should be used. Most stones come with pre-cut holes for the fasteners and mounting components, however, some additional drilling may be necessary for difficult pieces or designs.
The brackets should be secured to the wall, and the stones should be hung from those brackets. A sealant can then be used to fill in any gaps, cracks or seams and to provide an extra layer of structural support.
For tile fireplace surrounds, an adhesive and grout is typically the best method to secure the tiles. For each tile, a thin layer of adhesive should be applied to the back of the piece and the tile should be pressed into place firmly.
Once the adhesive has dried, a grout should be used to fill in any gaps between the tiles and to create a smooth surface.
For wood mantels or wood surrounds, screws should be used to ensure a secure installation. Pre-drilled holes may or may not be provided in the wood, and if not, the necessary holes should be drilled before the wood is installed.
The screws should then be inserted into the holes, and the wood fastened to the wall and fireplace unit. A sealant should also be used to fill in any gaps between the wood and the fireplace unit.
The installation method used will ultimately depend on the design, material, and style of the fireplace surround. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and use the proper methods and materials to ensure a safe and secure installation.
Can you permanently close off a fireplace?
Yes, it is possible to permanently close off a fireplace. This process, also known as “black boxing,” involves installing a non-combustible barrier within the fireplace to prevent heat and ashes from escaping.
In doing this, it is necessary that the opening within the fireplace is sealed tight with materials such as mortar or fiberglass in order to create a sealed chamber. Once this chamber is sealed, it is important to cap off the chimney on the roof in order to prevent further drafting of hot air and smoke.
Additionally, if a gas line has been connected to the fireplace, it must be disconnected as well in order to avoid a dangerous gas leakage. However, due to potential safety risks associated with this process, it is always recommended to hire a professional to perform these closure services.
Can you just block up a fireplace?
It is possible to block up a fireplace, though it depends on the type of fireplace. If it is a masonry fireplace, it can usually be blocked up fairly easily with masonry or cinder blocks. This will require a bit of construction knowledge, and the use of appropriate mortar and tools to secure the blocks in place.
If the fireplace is a prefabricated or metal model, it will be more difficult to block off. You may be able to use sheet metal or plywood to create a barrier that prevents access to the fireplace. However, depending on the type of unit you have, this can be difficult.
If you are not comfortable doing the work yourself, you should contact a professional for assistance.
Regardless of the type of fireplace, you should always ensure that the fireplace is properly inspected and all components are sealed before attempting to block it up. It is important to note that some municipalities may require permits to close off a fireplace, so it is important to check with your local home inspector or authority before beginning any work.
Can you use a fireplace that hasn’t been used in years?
It’s possible to use a fireplace that hasn’t been used in years, but it’s important to use caution and cautionary measures if the fireplace has been sitting for an extended period of time. Before attempting to use the fireplace, it’s important to inspect the chimney to make sure it’s free from debris, blockages, and animals that may have taken up residence.
Additionally, it’s important to check the firebox for excessive creosote buildup, as well as the damper to confirm it’s working as intended. It’s wise to also have a certified technician inspect the fireplace and chimney to ensure that it’s safe to use.
Additionally, even if the fireplace is deemed safe to use, one should be mindful of its age and monitor the unit while in operation. If the fire is not burning evenly or the damper is not properly regulating the air draft, immediate steps should be taken to address the issue.
Having a fire extinguisher nearby is also a good precaution to have.
What is the easiest way to remove brick mortar?
The easiest way to remove brick mortar is by using a hammer and cold chisel. Start by using the cold chisel to loosen the mortar around the brick. Keep removing loose mortar until the remnants can be pulled out with the hammer.
For stubborn mortar that is difficult to remove, try using a 4-inch angle grinder with a diamond blade. Make sure to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes when using power tools. After removing the mortar, use a wire brush to complete the cleaning process.
Be sure to clean out any remaining debris from the joint with a vacuum or chisel until the joint is completely clean.
Does vinegar dissolve brick?
No, vinegar does not dissolve brick. Bricks are made out of a variety of materials, such as cement, clay, and mud, all of which are chemically resistant to vinegar, making it impossible for vinegar to dissolve them.
There are some materials, like calcium carbonate, which can be dissolved by acetic acid, which is the main component of vinegar. However, most bricks are made with other materials that are not affected by vinegar.