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Repair Mortar Joints in Fireplaces

Updated:2013-10-16 17:00:48
Even though most brick fireplaces are found either inside a building or an outdoor shelter, and are therefore at least partially shielded from the elements, the mortar holding the bricks together is still prone to wear and tear. The procedure for repairing the mortar in the joints of the fireplace is somewhat different from what one would do to patch up a brick wall, because the brick in a fireplace is usually a fa?ade, not a load-bearing structure.

Instructions  as follows:

                                                           

Firstly, scrape away any crumbling mortar in the joints of the interior and exterior of the fireplace with a wire brush.

Secondly, make a batch of regular mortar sufficient for 30 minutes of work, which should be enough to patch up all the damaged spots on the exterior of the fireplace.
Thirdly, apply the mortar to the cracks and damaged spots in the joints, using a trowel. Fill up the damaged portions by pushing mortar in. Then scrape away the excess and put it back in with the rest of the mortar. Shape the wet mortar in the joint to match the appearance of the old mortar in the other joints.
Fourthly, make a batch of fire-resistant mortar to repair damage inside the fireplace. Repeat the process for repairing these joints.
Tips & Warnings
While you can use heat-resistant mortar on the exterior of the fireplace, it is more expensive, making it an uneconomical choice. On the other hand, regular mortar should never be used inside the fireplace, where high temperatures will cause it to crack and crumble quickly.
If your fireplace dates to the early 20th century or before, it was probably built using lime-based mortar, rather than modern cement-based mortar. Using modern mortar to fix the joints will damage the old mortar and maybe even the bricks, so use a lime-and-sand mixture instead.
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