cement in fireplaces

1840emmyOctober 11, 2013

Does anyone have any experience with removing cement from a fireplace? For some reason I would love to know, the prior owners of our nice old house filled in the fireplaces with cement. They are filled, as in, stuffed with cement and smoothed over, flush with the entire fireplace unit.

Clearly, they did not want them being used anymore, but why cement? And how in the world do I get it out of there without damaging something? I'm thinking we just have to get a sledgehammer and chisel and chip away at it...but would love to hear other ideas/suggestions if anyone has any. Thanks.

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mxyplx

Do you suppose someone is buried behin....naw that couldn't be.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 10:05PM
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maryinthefalls

I'd be tempted to get a metal decorative cover and be done with it. The POs could have found problems and the units are no longer safe to use so they sealed them up.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 2:22PM
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1840emmy

mxypix wrote:

"Do you suppose someone is buried behin....naw that couldn't be."

Good Lord, that never occurred to me! I heard that a soldier died in the house during the Civil War (not sure which side but I think Union) and the neighbors have a "bullet" the PO found in the yard....but surely not what was suggested! Now I'm almost afraid to get the cement out of there, for fear of what we might find.

But hey, they could also have stuffed a bunch of Confederate bills up the chimneys before sealing them in!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 7:27PM
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mxyplx

Can you lower a light and a camera on movie mode down the chimney to see the back side of the cement?

If you do decide to dig an electric jack hammer might be a tool of choice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Poe

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 8:21PM
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lazy_gardens

It's possible that the house had chimneys that were too deteriorated to use and the fix was too expensive, so they filled them to provide a solid core and to prevent use.

How far up does the concrete extend?

This is probably not fixable without removing the external part of the chimney and then the concrete fill and then rebuilding the chimneys ... not a DIYand not cheap.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 1:40PM
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millworkman

My first thoughts were exactly as lazygardens has listed and would bet that was the reasoning behind the concrete.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 4:11PM
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renovator8

I doubt the fire box is filled with concrete; the weight might cause a structural failure. It is probably just a cement stucco coating on a panel. What does it sound like when you knock on it?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:12PM
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