Chipped bricks, a stained hearth, and years of accumulated soot can turn what should be the focal point of a living room into an eyesore. Replacing a hearth and surround makes a big difference in the way a fireplace looks. Along with appearances, the fireplace hearth is also a very important part of preventing heat transfer to nearby combustibles. Any severe cracks will allow more heat to be transferred underneath your fireplace hearth which is never a good idea!
The hearth is the space in front of where the fire actually burns in a fireplace. As with the brick of the chimney stack, it must be able to handle both the potential corrosive elements of the burned material and the high heats it can be subjected to. While a chimney cleaning will definitely remove fresh soot, a stained hearth of either many years of neglect or heavy burning will leave you with a stain you can never really get rid of. The only way to permanently remedy this is to replace these stained bricks with fresh new ones!
Just like all of our other masonry services, when we inspect a masonry chimney, we look for all signs of wear and tear that can be potential fire hazards. A fireplace hearth is no different. With age and use, a chimney hearth will start to degrade over time. These bricks however can be replaced so that you can enjoy the look of a fresh new fireplace or change the look of bricks that never appealed to you. With your fireplace hearth being directly in front of the logs you are burning whether you have a fireplace grate or not, these bricks are constantly absorbing heat. While a fireplace grate certainly prolongs the life of a hearth and firebox, if logs were burned previously without one, your fireplace heart may be taking quite some damage!