Recurring cracks in wallboard around fireplace

Old 11-23-99, 05:03 PM
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I have tried a number of times to fill in cracks in the
wallboard around the fireplace. Apparently the heat of the
fireplace causes uneven expansion and the wallboard gives
way. There is no way to hide the cracks under molding or
pictures since the cracking occurs at the fireplace corners
at the top of the mantel. I've heard of flexible joint and
crack tapes, but I wonder if they would work. The wall is
painted, and it seems to me that the paint would crack even
if the tape didn't. Does anyone have any ideas. Thanks.
Old 12-12-99, 12:03 AM
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Hello John:

Although I am not a fireplace contractor, my best guess is your correct about the heat causing this problem.

However, not knowing what type of fireplace you have <All Brick or Brick with a Steel Insert> it's difficult to say why your wall area is constantly expanding & cracking.

The more important concerns are WHY is there so much heat? And where is it coming from?

Until you arrive at those answers, your only going to be masking up the symptoms.

The most logical suggestion I could make is check the firebox for cracks. Check the chimney for cracks also. Any cracks will cause heat to escape. Which just might be the reason for so much heat around the mantle and behind the wall.

That heat that may be escaping may also be overheating the total wall area. Feel for any heat around the fireplace and how far that heat travels from the fireplace behind the wall where you can't see behind. Too much heat spread out too far or even nearby and your exposing the house to a fire danger.

If there is heat escaping through cracks behind the walls, your next and most important concern is also products of combustion. These products of combustion do contain deadly carbon monoxide. <CO>

Best suggestion:
Be on the safe side. Hire a professional chimney person and have your fireplace fully inspected for cracks and restrictions.

Good Luck


Natural Gas Energy Technician.

Appliance Service & Repairs Rep.

TomBartco Enterprises

Personal Quote:

"Drive Safely.
The Life You Save
May Be Your Own."


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