The average national cost of woodstove and fireplace repair is $300, with most homeowners spending between $150 and $600. This data is based on actual project costs as reported by HomeAdvisor members.
Many people are choosing to heat their homes with wood, due to the increase in cost of natural gas and oil. In fact, more than one-third of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired sources of heat in their homes. Fireplaces are aesthetically pleasing, and they provide an economical way to heat your home during the winter. They will also last a lifetime if cared for properly, but they will need to be repaired from time to time. If you are noticing water in your fireplace, smoke not filtering through the chimney correctly, or any other oddity with your fireplace, do not continue to use it as it could be a hazard. Depending on the type of repair needed, your costs can vary greatly.
Creosote is a wood preservative used to cure beech wood and other common burning woods. Burning a log releases a creosote resin with the smoke which collects in your chimney. Wet or unseasoned wood or a log that is not burning properly can contribute to this buildup. Have your chimney flue professionally cleaned to remove creosote. 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, 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. If you have wood that is burning slowly or not burning at all, you may need to clean out the creosote in the chimney flue. TIP: Keep your chimney cleaner by saving your citrus fruit peelings and putting them into the fire when you have a fire burning. This will help break down the build up in the chimney and keep the creosote from forming.
Chimney cracks and water leaks
Cracked or deteriorated brick and mortar are considered a fire hazard. Most commonly you will find cracks in the four corner regions and in the center of the back wall. Remember that fire is much like water and will follow the path of least resistance, and if there are any openings (even small cracks) the fire will flow through them.
Water entering the flue mixes with creosote and is acidic, often causing premature rusting of the damper and also contributes to deterioration of the brick and mortar. 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. These leaks also cause water damage to ceiling and flooring materials adjacent to the interior fireplace.
Chimney crown repair
The chimney crown tops off the upper end of a chimney and acts to protect your mortar and masonry and prevent water from entering your chimney and any sparks from flying out of your chimney and possibly catching your roof or any other combustible in close proximity on fire. It also prevents critters from entering your chimney and calling it home.
Heat loss in wood stove
One of the main causes of heat loss from a wood-burning stove is a loose loading door, so check it regularly for holes. Check the seal around the door for cracking or missing chunks - if you see irregularities, you will have to have the door replaced. Check that the door closes properly by inserting a piece of paper where the door closes while the stove is cool. Close the door onto the sheet of paper and let go. The paper should not fall out and should not come loose when pulled. If it does the door of the stove needs to be repaired.
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