How to Unblock an Unused Fireplace

Having a fireplace adds a cosy feel to any room and serves as a wonderful architectural focal point. If your home has one that’s been blocked up, you may want to consider restoring it. However, before you begin restoration, be sure to consult a surveyor to ensure restoration won’t cause structural damage.

To determine the size and condition of your fireplace, remove the wall vent or uncover the hearth. If the condition is good and you decide to proceed, remove the skirting board and drill a hole in the wall to determine what it’s made from.

Remove the wall using the appropriate tool. For plasterboard, a club hammer works best, while a jigsaw is best for wood. For brick walls use your club hammer with a chisel to remove any plaster around the vent and expose the brick and then clear the opening by loosening the mortar joints and removing the bricks.

Once cleared, re-secure any loose bricks surrounding the opening and fill any cracks in the fireback with fire cement. To test your fireplace, light a candle or use a smoke pellet and hold it under the chimney. The smoke should be drawn up; if it’s not, it could be that your chimney has been capped or that it’s blocked. In either case, a chimney sweep should be brought in.

Once restored, you must contact your local authority building control officer, who will inspect your work and issue a certificate of approval.  Failure to do so may nullify your home insurance.

Leave a Reply