fireplace

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i removed plywood covering a first floor fireplace as the plywood board was bowing out at the bottom. i found about 5 stone of soot/dust [no bricks] in the fireplace.
i removed the soot and there were a couple of holes in the back of the fire place.
i coverd the fireplace with insulation board.
the chimney has a rain cap/cover. the house was built in the 1910/20s
photo 100_4907 is the interior of the chimney



1. im just checking that i was correct in removing all the soot, or should i leave some there to plug the holes in the fireplace? is there any reason the soot was seemingly left in the fireplace?
[i plan to board up the fireplace again, as it looks ugly]
 

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Whats the condition of any other fireplaces and flues in the house?

You did right to remove the soot. Always remove soot and dust. Perhaps check below your "hearth" floor boards that soot and rubble have not been dumped below the floor?
The rough stack of bricks at the back of the opening were only to pull out and limit the fireplace area, they can be removed. They are not structural.
You could have the flue swept.
Ventilation should be provided at the chimney stack terminal and at the fireplace.
I dont see any holes but if you remove the jumble of bricks maybe the holes will disappear. Any holes in the back wall can be plugged with sand and cement.
Why not look on here at what some other people have done to their unused fireplace openings? You can make it into a feature.
 
thanks vinn for the reply.
Ventilation should be provided at the chimney stack terminal and at the fireplace.

i put in the fireplace two 25mm thermal insulation boards [shown in the photos], and will cover with plywood. will that be adequate ventilation, while also stopping most of the heat loss through the chimney?


i havent looked at the other fireplace yet.
i had wanted to make the fireplace a feature, but when i removed the fireplace plywood cover, i found the fireplace was constructed so poorly [in common with other parts of the house]. that it will currently take me too much time to beautify it.
 
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No it wont be adequate for through ventilation.
You need a proper vent that has an unobstructed passage to the flue.
The chimney breast vent acts like an air brick venting a suspended floor.
Hit and miss vents are probably best for your purpose.
 

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