Inglenook fireplace restoration.
This second post relating to the discovery of an inglenook fireplace relates to the structural issues caused by the fireplace being bricked up with no vent for years and also the beam having been burnt right through at some stage.
The soft red bricks had suffered a great deal from the damp and flue salts,breaking them down to a ‘mush’ of soot and brick dust.
This severely affected the structural integrity of the flue and stack above ,as the bricks at the base had crumbled away, the weight above had pushed the base outwards,with some significant cracks to either side.
To add to the troubles the bressumer beam had burnt right through and needed to be replaced with another.Quite a state in all!
First job, add support using Acrow props and then begin to rebuild the masonry using of course a lime mortar and bricks to match in size,texture,colour and absorbency, these new, hand made by local crafstmen.
The cracks were repaired by building new masonry into the old where stable enough ,with the addition of stainless steel helical bars where we could to tie in both sides.
The beam took some sourcing, but eventually a suitable size and air dried age was found.with the fireplace propped, up the old beam could be carefully removed and the new one settled into place,leaving the Acrows to carry the load for awhile until the fresh mortar could take the weight alone.
The next installment reveal the restored fireplace ,ready for an Aga range to be fitted.