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Old 03-20-2011, 05:00 PM   #1
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Can you seal brick on fireplace?


I'd planned on covering the brick facing on the fireplace with some nice tumbled stone. Hubby has veto'd this idea. So I've spent the day cleaning out and scrubbing the brick on the fireplace. We've lived here five years and never been able to use it. The insert is cracked top to bottom. Fireplace guy came to clean it when we bought the house and said it will burn the house down if we use it. There've been days I've been half tempted.

Anyway, since I can't do my tumbled stone I'm stuck with the brick which is filthy dirty. I'm sure when the last people lived here about 20 years ago (house was vacant 15 years when we moved in) they didn't clean it before moving out. So it's been full of who knows what all that time. I got it totally empty and cleaned out and scrubbed the heck out of the brick. It's taken forever before I could scrub and have not black water when I was done. Still not perfectly clean but way better than it was. However, I'd like to know if there's any way to seal it so that the next time it needs a cleaning it's not so bad. Obviously cleaning it more often than every 20 years will help, but the brick has...........holes?........... in it that dust settles in very easily. It's a very old house - estimated to be around 80 years - and no matter what we do we always seem to have tons of dust. I've heard common complaints from other people in really old homes so I'm guessing it's just an issue that will have to be dealt with here. I'm hoping I can do something to help seal those holes in the brick so next time it can be swept and just have a quick rinse. Any ideas?

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Old 03-20-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
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Can you seal brick on fireplace?


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Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
I'd planned on covering the brick facing on the fireplace with some nice tumbled stone. Hubby has veto'd this idea. So I've spent the day cleaning out and scrubbing the brick on the fireplace. We've lived here five years and never been able to use it. The insert is cracked top to bottom. Fireplace guy came to clean it when we bought the house and said it will burn the house down if we use it. There've been days I've been half tempted.

Anyway, since I can't do my tumbled stone I'm stuck with the brick which is filthy dirty. I'm sure when the last people lived here about 20 years ago (house was vacant 15 years when we moved in) they didn't clean it before moving out. So it's been full of who knows what all that time. I got it totally empty and cleaned out and scrubbed the heck out of the brick. It's taken forever before I could scrub and have not black water when I was done. Still not perfectly clean but way better than it was. However, I'd like to know if there's any way to seal it so that the next time it needs a cleaning it's not so bad. Obviously cleaning it more often than every 20 years will help, but the brick has...........holes?........... in it that dust settles in very easily. It's a very old house - estimated to be around 80 years - and no matter what we do we always seem to have tons of dust. I've heard common complaints from other people in really old homes so I'm guessing it's just an issue that will have to be dealt with here. I'm hoping I can do something to help seal those holes in the brick so next time it can be swept and just have a quick rinse. Any ideas?
If you can't use the fireplace because it will burn the house down, I don't think you have anything to worry about in that respect.
I guess you could always replace the insert with one that isn't cracked top and bottom. But you've been there 5 years so far and it's still, "inserted".
Ron

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Old 03-29-2011, 06:21 AM   #3
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Can you seal brick on fireplace?


since you didn't mention using a pressure washer, i'll guess its inside the house wet/dry vac & brush attachment,,, after that, any acrylic-based masonary sealer you can also use muriatic cut 1acid:8wtr however it will attach the mortar so be VERY careful & wear appropriate personal protection gear !
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #4
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Can you seal brick on fireplace?


It was probably so dirty originally from decades of fires. Since you're not building fires, that shouldn't be a problem.

If you want fires, there is an easy solution. You buy a new insert and install an insulated steel liner in the chimney. For planning purposes you can figure $1500 to $2000 for the insert and somewhere in the same range for the liner. About half the cost of the liner is labor, so if you're DIY inclined you can reduce that cost substantially.

As far as your dust in general -- figure out where it comes from. If you live on a gravel road, then it's going to be dusty. If you have gaps from the attic, that will give you dust too. Wall to wall carpets are a great place to store dust. A home built in 1930 won't necessarily be dusty, but it can be. Dyson vacuum cleaners really do extract more out of carpets.
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