I took an unused fireplace and made it useable in case of an emergency.
Step 1: This Is Unsafe!
Check out your fireplace. If you have a concrete insert, you could be putting your entire house in danger! I had never used the fireplace in the 5 years I lived here. I had a chimney sweep clean it out, and he told me to fix it or replace the insert.
Hmm, $15 and some time or at least&300 for a new insert and who knows how much for hiring a professional? Guess which I picked
Step 2: Tools Needed
All you need is:
- fireplace mortar (under $5 a tube).
- a caulking gun (anywhere from $3-$20, depending on the quality you want). I went with the $10 mid grade gun, since I had never used one before.
- a putty knife.
- a large sponge.
- a bucket.
You can go to you tube to find out how to use this contraption, or someone may have an instructable here, since it comes with no instructions.
Step 3: Cleaning
- Clean the inside of the walls with soap and water and a big sponge.
- Keep wringing out the sponge and change the water as needed.
- You might have to do this several times. Mine was filthy. The sweeps clean out the shaft, but not the insert!
- Let dry.
Step 4: Add Caulk
- Slightly dampen the crack you need to fill, one at a time.
- Fill the crack with a bead of caulking. don't make it too thin else you will have to double your efforts.
Step 5: Smooth Caulk
- With a barely damp putty knife, smooth caulk so it is even with the existing concrete.
- Hopefully you used enough caulk to fill the crack the first time through.
- If it is a deep crack, you can need to add a second layer of the caulking.
Step 6: Repeat
Do the previous steps of:
For each crack you have.
It is best to do one at a time, so you don't have to panic about the caulking starting to dry before you get to it.
Step 7: Dry Time
- Let the caulk dry for a minimum of 24 hours, but no more than 30 days before curing.
- If you had a deep crack and have to double layer, this is where you would do another caulking step and the dry caulk step.
Step 8: Curing
- Build a fire to cure.
- According to the instructions on the caulk, you build a low fire, about 200 degrees, to dry the caulk.
- Then you use a high fire, about 500 degrees, and keep that for about an hour and a half.