Furnace Repair Brampton

Fireplace Repairs: 9 Common Problems and Solutions

fireplace repairs

Are you having issues with your fireplace? If you need fireplace repairs, you’ll want to address the problem as soon as you can. That way, you’ll be free to use and enjoy your fireplace at any time safely. 

These are some of the most commonly seen problems with fireplaces. 

The Pilot Light Has Gone Out 

Gas fireplaces use pilot lights, which are small flames fueled by gas. This light is always lit to ignite the main burners instantly when you want to turn the fireplace on. However, if the pilot light is out, there won’t be a way to light the burners. 

In many cases, this has a simple fix. For example, you may be able to restart the gas that flows to the pilot light and then relight it manually. If a quick fix like this fails to work, you may have a more serious concern, such as moisture within the gas line. The best way to address this is to have a certified technician drain and clean the line. 

An Accumulation of Creosote 

When you burn wood in a fireplace, it will produce smoke, cool and condense as the fire becomes less hot. It will leave creosote, a black tar-like substance, inside your fireplace. 

This hard substance can accumulate over time, causing several problems. Since it’s flammable, having creosote in your chimney can put you at risk for a fire. Furthermore, creosote can block the airflow in a chimney, leading to the release of smoke inside the home. 

The best way to prevent backdrafting and other issues is to have your chimney cleaned regularly. It’s less likely that creosote will accumulate if your chimney has a good draft. 

Your Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit. 

Thanks to the thermocouple, the gas should continuously flow to your pilot light whenever there’s combustion in your gas fireplace. When heat is detected, electricity transfers to the gas valve, which indicates it should remain open. If your pilot light seems to go out after 30 seconds or so, there might be an issue with the thermocouple. 

Check to see if there’s an issue with your thermocouple’s connection. Check the screws, tubing, and wires to confirm that it’s secured and that there aren’t any problems with how it’s hooked up. If you don’t see any noticeable issues, your thermocouple likely needs to be replaced. Hire a qualified professional that can change your thermocouple for you. 

Blockages In the Chimney 

Many creatures, including birds, make homes in chimneys. If animals have built a nest in your chimney, it won’t take long to notice. After you start a fire, smoke will begin to flow into your home. 

You can ensure that animals can’t get into your chimney by installing a chimney cap. Although these caps let exhaust escape, you’ll need to check yours regularly to make sure that branches, leaves, and other types of debris aren’t caught within it.

Your Chimney Is Too Short 

Chimney Repair | Rivard Concrete

If there are design issues with your wood-burning fireplace, such as a chimney that’s not tall enough, there won’t be enough draft. Ideally, a chimney should be a minimum of three feet above the top of a roof and two feet or more over other objects that are within ten horizontal feet of the chimney. If a chimney fails to meet these requirements, weather conditions like high winds could cause smoke to backdraft. 

The best way to deal with a very short chimney is to install another segment of chimney pipe on top of your chimney. It is a task that’s best left to professionals unless you have the required tools and experience. 

Your Gas Fireplace Is Dirty 

It would help if you clean gas fireplaces regularly. Insufficient cleaning can lead to several problems, including a drop in heat output, reduced flame height, and serious issues such as gas leaks. 

Always turn off the gas during cleaning, and cool off the fireplace. When cleaning, you should vacuum away any build-up debris on surfaces like the burnings. Don’t forget to clean the glass with a product that the manufacturer approves. When cleaning your fireplace, you should also look for cracks and chips. If any artificial logs inside your fireplace have started to deteriorate, you’ll want to remove them before they cause an issue. A technician should also inspect your fireplace. Have them clear away any build-up debris in the chimney, vents, and flue. 

The fireplace Isn’t Producing Enough Heat. 

If you’re not getting much heat from the fires that you started, there could be an issue with the quality of your firewood. Many people mistakenly use green wood or wood that’s been freshly cut. Since this wood has a lot of moisture, it won’t always burn cleanly and may not always produce enough heat. That’s why you should stick to burning seasoned wood. Wood should be dried for at least a few months before being burnt in the fireplace. 

A Stuck or Closed Damper 

If there are problems with the draft coming from your fireplace, your fireplace damper could be the source of the problem. When you have a fire going, your damper needs to be partially open so that smoke can exit via the chimney. If your damper is shut, that smoke will flow back into your house, which can be dangerous. 

That’s why you should completely open your damper before lighting a fire. It should stay at least partially open as long as you have a fire going. If you struggle to open your damper, a build-up of soot, creosote, and dirt may have caused it to become stuck. 

It would be best if you took the time to clean both your damper and its hinge when your fireplace isn’t in use. Use a wire brush to clean it before applying a lubricating oil such as WD-40. Allow the oil to creep into your hinge. Once you’ve done that, you should open and shut your damper to confirm that it moves freely. 

Cracks In Your Fire Bricks 

Fireplaces are lined with fire bricks, which are masonry blocks designed to be resistant to heat. These bricks can hold up against a fire, but they wear down over time. Other issues, such as chimney fires, problems with installation, or shifting in your home’s foundation, can also cause cracks to develop. It could allow dangerous gases to leak into your house. That’s why you should repair cracks or any other types of damage as soon as possible. 

Unless you’ve laid fire bricks before, this is a task you’ll need a specialist for. Have a professional replace any bricks that have started to crack so that you can continue to use your fireplace safely. 

Have concerns about your wood-burning fireplace? These fireplace maintenance tips will help you keep your fireplace in good working order.