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Seattle Fireplace Repair Experts
We are the top fireplace and chimney service center in the Seattle area. We service all of our customer’s fireplace repair and maintenance issues in both the metro area and all surrounding suburbs. We aren’t just blowing smoke when we say we are the top fireplace repair Seattle company. Here are some of the services that we provide:
Excel Chimney and Fireplace repair has repaired thousands of fireplaces in Seattle. We work with historic home fireplace repair and modern home fireplace and brick repairs. It is surprising how quickly fireplace brickwork that is not properly set can deteriorate in Seattle conditions.
What Does Fireplace Repair Entail?
Fireplace repair Seattle is due to moisture or time degrading the bricks and masonry. Sometimes all that is needed is some brickwork, and tuckpointing mortar repair, and sometimes we will recommend either a chimney liner or a rebuild, depending on the level of deterioration. We will be honest and clear about the level of damage and risks.
Fireplace Interior Repair -Firebox Problems
The most common problems we see within the firebox are cracked and deteriorated brick or mortar (usually in the back wall), water infiltration, and improper dimensions of the firebox (often causing smoking into the room).
Cracks. Cracks in the walls of a firebox or interior chimney lining are considered a fire hazard by
the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Smoke carries waste particles from a fire and eventually causes deposits to form on the walls, and inside and behind any cracks. This oily substance, called creosote, can re-ignite from sparks rising in the chimney. Therefore, it’s important to keep these walls free of creosote build-up and to promptly repair any cracks.
Cracked mortar may be repaired by carefully chiseling out cracked areas and tuck pointing with portland cement or fireclay, but should never be surface-coated or smeared, as it will not bond with the dirty, smoky surface. If any brick are broken (typically a back wall will last 15-25 years in Seattle, depending on usage), it is usually advisable to rebuild the affected wall with new firebrick and fireclay.
Water Infiltration into the fireplace. Water entering a chimney can cause several problems, and should be prevented with a quality chimney cap (see below) and crown. Water entering the flue mixes with creosote and is acidic, often causing premature rusting of the damper, and also contributing to deterioration of the brick and mortar, requiring repair of the fireplace. Water may also enter through any cracks in the chimney crown, the chimney shell itself, or through faulty flashing where the chimney meets the roof. Any such leaks can be quite frustrating to diagnose, and can also cause water damage to ceiling and flooring materials adjacent to the interior fireplace.
Improper Fireplace Dimensions. The proper building of a full masonry brick fireplace is sadly becoming a dying art—especially in the southern states, where fireplaces are used less and prefabricated metal fireboxes are taking their place. Very few residential masonry contractors are qualified to build a safe and efficient fireplace from the ground up these days, and many that were built in Seattle since the 1970s have problems. Two common design flaws include chimneys that are too short to prevent downdrafts, and areas between the lintel and throat that are not tall enough to allow smoke to “roll” before entering the smoke shelf. Both of these can cause a fireplace to draw poorly—letting smoke into your living area.