The Smith house is located in the Lockeland Springs neighborhood. Unfortunately, the home had suffered a fire which damaged the fireplace and hearth.
A CMO certified chimney technician performed an initial interior and exterior inspection. The inspection revealed that the stone chimney exterior had experienced no damage from the house fire, though there was a preexisting, unrelated crack in the crown. The block substructure in the attic showed minimal charring, but the structure as a whole remained in excellent condition. The flues were also undamaged. The hearth, however, was covered in debris and severely smoke-damaged. The back wall of the firebox was extremely angled toward the living room, which may played a part in starting the fire by heating combustibles (wood paneling and drywall) just above the firebox.
In light of the inspection findings, CMO recommended the replacement of the hearth, rather than attempting to clean micro-debris out of the porous brick. We also recommended a two-pronged approach to repair the fireplace and prevent this from happening again: first, building the brick face of the fireplace up to the ceiling to eliminate combustibles and second, installing a wood-burning insert to contain the flames inside a sealed unit. To accomplish this, the CMO team removed the damaged brick facade from around the fireplace and hearth. We then rebuilt the hearth and face of the fireplace to the ceiling using angle-iron, wall-ties and a homeowner approved brick and mortar design. We pinned a new mantle above the fireplace using homeowner-provided decorative brackets. We waterproofed the exterior of the chimney as a preventative measure and installed a top mount damper to replace the broken rain-cap.
The Smith’s now have a beautifully rebuilt and functional hearth and fireplace to enjoy safely.