Unused brick fireplace question

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Old 12-20-16, 05:43 PM
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Unused brick fireplace question

Live in a home built in the mid 60's. I dont use the wood fireplace. Around the brick, where the drywall meets the brick, is anywhere between a 1/2"-2" gap. Some spots you cant feel a draft, others you feel a considerable cold draft coming in. This is all the way around ceiling to ground.

Is it safe to stuff insulation in there and caulk? Or just caulk? Do not want to create a fire hazard incase I ever sell the house and forget I did that. I cannot keep the living room warm and im assuming this fireplace is part of the main culprit. Figured this would be a good first step.

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-21-16, 03:21 AM
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How far is the edge of the brick from the fire box? Shouldn't be an issue to stuff fiberglass in the gap but 2" is way to wide for caulking. Wood molding might be a good way to cover the gap.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 04:29 AM
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I would also address the problem from inside and outside. Sealing the gap from both inside the home and on the outside. I would also give the fireplace and chimney a good looking over to try and determine why you have such large gaps around it. It could indicate that the chimney is moving and in need of more repair.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 04:32 AM
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Hi Kb,
Fiberglass insulation does poorly at blocking air, think air filters made of the same stuff. Your primary objective is to block the air flow, but some added insulation doesn't hurt. I prefer Roxul for the insulation simply because it starts out very dense, thus does better at slowing air leakage, but it needs to be covered by something to truly block the air. Wood trim caulked to both the brick (behind the wood) and the drywall would work. More drywall would work, but hard to fill a small space.

Pictures would help the advice.

Bud

Also, make sure the damper is closed and if there is a basement or crawlspace a look at it from that direction is important.
 

Last edited by Bud9051; 12-21-16 at 04:34 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 12-21-16, 07:41 AM
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Ill try to get some pictures after the holidays as my wife has that area all crazy decorated. Thanks for the tips!

You can see the drywall was cut away poorly around that area by the previous home owner. Ill probably end up going the insulate, caulk, and trim route. It will probably end up making it look a million times better anyways.

The damper is closed as well and we have a glass insert as well. Anyway to really insulate that good (and hopefully cheap and easily) for something we will never use? Thanks again so much!
 
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Old 12-21-16, 08:35 AM
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Anyway to really insulate that good
As in insulating the glass insert? You could add stryofoam behind the glass but it wouldn't look all that nice ..... maybe apply some sort of picture to the front or paint it black.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 08:53 AM
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Its dark smoked glass. Basically black as is. Wont be seeing through it as is! Good idea thanks!

How about the flue area?
 
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Old 12-21-16, 09:04 AM
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If you insulate the firebox opening I wouldn't think the flue would come into play. I have known a few that more/less decommissioned their fireplace and stuffed insulation into the top of the flue and capped it off.
 
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Old 12-21-16, 09:05 AM
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Ok thanks. Ive got some stuff that should do the trick. Thanks again!
 
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Old 01-07-17, 05:13 AM
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So I used some 2" foam board and insulated around the insert also insulated around the flue as well. Being as both flues are warped there are still major gaps. Filled them with loose fill insulation. I really wanted to use greatstuff insulation on them but didn't (should I say screw it and just do it?) Im noticing no difference whatsoever to be honest. Caulked around the glass inserts as well.

I also took down a giant bush in front of the chimney Thursday afternoon. Been there since we bought the house but a bear came by the other night and somehow someway got into an argument with it. The bush didn't win.

But, I found the ash door clean out! Ive got a question on it though. It's actually level with my firebox in my living room. Could this also be leading it to being so cold? Its not sealed well. Barely closes and im going to try to use that 2" board and foam tape soon but it's been down pouring and now we are getting a snowstorm today so the weather isn't cooperating. Not even sure how an ash cleanout really works (especially since I have a basement fireplace too) but this thing looks like it's definitely a siv for cold air! Any suggestions for blocking it up and ill take it!

Hopefully that'll be another step to getting some warmth in the living room.
 
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