Sealing masonry fireplaces


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Old 02-13-09, 05:59 PM
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Sealing masonry fireplaces

I recently inherited the duties of maintaining a rental unit - duplex 3 story with old brick masonry fireplaces that were used for housing gas heaters that were the main heat for the house prior to the furnaces installation. There are 4 fireplaces in each unit and none have dampers in them. I imagine this is a major source of heat loss to the units as they are wide open.

The leases specify they are not to be used to burn in as they do not have fire brick linings and the 100+ year old mortar is not in the best shape.

What would the best way be to seal these up? I was thinking of installing small unvented gas logs in the living room for supplemental heat during power outages, and/or for ambiance.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 07:31 PM
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Sealing masonry fireplaces

Installing gas logs can open you up to huge liabilities if there is ever a problem for any renter.

If they are usable, permanently seal them up so they conserve energy and cannot be used, no matter what the language of the lease says.

Dick
 
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Old 02-14-09, 08:23 PM
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I'm looking for "how to" on the sealing. Should insulation be used or just cap off where the damper should be with flashing, or what? Should the tops be capped off too?

Originally Posted by Concretemasonry View Post
Installing gas logs can open you up to huge liabilities if there is ever a problem for any renter.

Dick
Can you elaborate on that?
 
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Old 02-15-09, 05:27 AM
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Concretemasonry will probably have the better answer, but IMHO brick up the front and cap the top. Anything less and they will find a way to use it.

Bud
 
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Old 02-15-09, 06:48 PM
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Bricking the front is not an option as the owner spent alot to have the brick cleaned and sealed and wants the "look".
 
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Old 02-15-09, 06:53 PM
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brick up inside the the fireplace back from the opening and close off the top to keep rain out and air from exiting the chimney.

Murphy was an optimist
 
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Old 02-16-09, 06:20 AM
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My opinion again, but leaving it in any form of operable condition is a huge liability. Even if the lease says no, having chimneys that are not safe to use requires a more permanent solution. Only one person signs the lease, but they may let the brother-in-law use the apartment for the weekend and he likes a fire.

Being a commercial unit, I would bet there are codes that would require those chimneys to be safe, with few exceptions. Bricking them up might get you by, but only if the code man says so.

Bud
 
 

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