Our Company Blog

Firebox Repairs

Although fireplaces and chimneys are built to withstand not only the heat from fires but also the outside elements, they can still become damaged or deteriorate due to wear and tear over time. While many homeowners focus on keeping their chimneys clean and in good condition, they may forget to check for damage to the firebox.

Because the firebox contains the fire itself, it is extremely important that it is not damaged and is in good condition. A damaged firebox does not mean you have to stop using your fireplace forever, however. Firebox repairs can allow you to get back to safely enjoying your fireplace system sooner.


Causes of firebox damage

Because the firebox is directly exposed to the heat and flames from a fire, they are sturdily built to withstand lots of wear and tear. Despite this, there are still a number of things that can cause your firebox to be damaged or deteriorate prematurely. The following are some of the most common causes of firebox damage.

Improper installation: If your firebox was not built correctly using appropriate materials, it may become damaged or deteriorate faster. Unfortunately, rather than hiring a skilled mason, some contractors or construction workers attempt to build fireboxes themselves in an attempt to save money. While this may slightly reduce building costs, it leads to significantly higher maintenance costs in the future. Fireboxes need to be built using high quality firebrick and refractory mortar; if subpar materials are used, the firebox will not be able to withstand repeated exposure to the flames and heat of a fire.

For homes with factory built fireplaces, new refractory panels can be installed. Installing new refractory can help extend the life of your factory built fireplace while ensuring it is still safe to use.

Setting: Similar to the building materials, how a firebox is built can impact its longevity. Because all homes settle over time, it is important that fireplaces are built using strong concrete footings. Fireplace footings should not only be able to support the weight of the fireplace and chimney, but should also keep the fireplace steady in the event of settling. In homes with footings that are lacking, cracks may appear in the firebox; this is a sign that settling is putting stress on the fireplace system. Likewise, these cracks in the masonry create the risk of exposing the surrounding building materials to heat, smoke, and gas.

Water entry: While most homeowners know that water can damage their chimneys exterior, few worry about interior water damage. If you have suffered a chimney leak – no matter how small – the water can cause damage to the firebox. Because the refractory materials used to build fireboxes are designed to reflect heat, they can be easily damaged by water.

Similar to exterior masonry, cracked or spalling firebox masonry can be repaired by tuckpointing. By repairing the firebox with proper refractory materials, the firebox can safely last for years to come.

Because the firebox is responsible for containing the majority of the flames and heat from the fire it needs to be free from cracks and other damage. If your firebox has been damaged, it is important to have it repaired as soon as possible. Contact Pristine Sweeps today to learn about how we can help repair your firebox!

We Love Serving Bellevue, WA!

Since 2008, we have been proudly serving our friends and neighbors in the Seattle area. Since then, we have cleaned more than 2000 chimneys while providing our customers with consistently high quality services.

We were happy to open a new location in Bellevue, Washington this year and absolutely love serving the Bellevue area! Our office at 12247 SE 55th Place in Bellevue allows us to serve an even wider base of residents in Kings County.


About Bellevue

Located just across Lake Washington, Bellevue is Seattle’s largest suburb. Bellevue is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and work in the country, and in 2014 was named the second best place to live by USA Today.

Bellevue is French for “Beautiful View” and that certainly describes this great city. Different vistas and buildings in and around Bellevue offer sweeping views of both the Olympic and Cascade Mountains. These same mountain ranges offer plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping.

The beautiful views aren’t the only things that make Bellevue a great place to live and work. The Bellevue public school system is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. Likewise, families can take advantage of attractions such as the KidsQuest Children’s Museum. Other favorite attractions and activities in Bellevue include the annual Sculpture Exhibition, Strawberry Festival, and the Bellevue Botanical Garden.

About Pristine Sweeps

Founded in 2008 by Seattle native Aaron Woodward, Pristine Sweeps is dedicated to providing our customers with the best chimney and fireplace services in the industry. Our company’s mission statement is “to provide superior service and ensure safety through our knowledge, education & integrity.” We believe this carries over to every aspect of our business.

When you choose Pristine Sweeps, you can rest assured that you are dealing with a professional company that is at the top of their field. Our CSIA certified chimney sweeps are up to date on the latest trends and technologies in the fireplace industry and pass this learning on to our customers. Likewise, we do our best to not just make sure your fireplace system is well cared for, but also to make sure you have an excellent customer experience.

Our services

We are proud to offer our customers a wide variety of chimney and fireplace services to meet your every need. If your chimney system needs some regular or annual maintenance, we can perform chimney sweepings and inspections. Likewise, we can also waterproof your masonry. This service can help prevent water from damaging your masonry, and is highly recommended in the wet and rainy Pacific Northwest!

In addition to our regular or preventative maintenance, Pristine Sweeps can also handle any chimney or masonry problems you are experiencing. Our staff is expertly trained to troubleshoot and identify the causes of chimney issues such as leaking, odors, poor drafting, and burning problems. These ongoing issues are often extremely frustrating to homeowners, but our technicians can find the root of the problem and get you back to enjoying your fireplace.

From the top of the flue to the bottom of the firebox, Pristine Sweeps can handle all of your chimney and fireplace needs. If you are in the Bellevue area, contact us today to schedule you appointment. We look forward to working with you!