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Steel bar above fireplace opening

Discussion in 'Building' started by bobo29, 19 Apr 2019.

  1. bobo29

    bobo29

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    Just had an old back boiler removed and at the top of the opening in the fireplace is a thin steel bar which is quite loose (loose enough to wiggle it with one hand) which is resting on the bricks either side.

    I have attached a few photos.

    My plan was to keep the chimney breast in-situ and just to board out the opening, keeping the space open, however I’m a bit worried about this steel bar which seems to be performing the role of a lintel, which is very slightly warped with the bricks in the middle touching the steel bar but the bricks at either side not touching it.

    Can anyone advise if this bar would be sufficient to hold up the breast based upon the photos or should I look to replace it? I know it’s hard to tell from photos but I was just wondering if this is standard
     

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  2. 23vc

    23vc

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    Yeah just replace it with a concrete job
     
  3. JohnD

    JohnD

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    I thought from the description it might have been an arch support while the bricks were being laid, but from the look it might be to prevent the sides of the chimneybreast pushing out.

    Stand back and take a wider pick of the breast please.

    Are the bricks in a shallow arch over the opening?

    Sometimes there is another lintel or arch higher up, above the one for the hearth.

    How old is the house?

    Are there any signs of old iron brackets inside the opening?

    Is it in the kitchen?
     
  4. bobo29

    bobo29

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    Thanks for all the prompt replies.

    Have attached a photograph but it doesn’t show much I’m afraid because of the surround which was installed by the previous owner.

    The fireplace is in the lounge and the house was built in the 1920s.

    The second photo shows looking up the chimney breast to see if I can see another lintel but this is not visible. The metal is the flue liner.
     

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  5. bobo29

    bobo29

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    Hi all, it's me again.

    I've finally been able to remove the insulation etc from inside. Here's what you can see. The left hand side is the opening, the metal bar is visible here.
     

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  6. bobasd

    bobasd

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    its possible that there's another lintel or a brick arch higher up the chimney breast?
    given the bricks immediately above the metal bar seem stable then why not either just wedge the bar up with slate or wedge it and build up little pillars of supporting brickwork to match the infill bricks?

    the chimney flue needs sweeping.
    have you totally removed the SS liner from the flue. you should.
    whatever your final arrangements your flue will need a correct terminal and a vent at the bottom.
     
  7. bobo29

    bobo29

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    Hi, I had a roofer come up and completely take out the flue liner from the top. He has also knocked down the chimney (at my request - it was letting in a lot of rainwater in addition to being unsightly).

    It was my intention to plasterboard out the bottom maybe later this year once I can see how much cold air is actually coming through and if I need some kind of insulation/chimney balloon. Obviously I'll install a vent in here... my concern is that maybe the top should have been vented by the roofer as well...
     
  8. bobasd

    bobasd

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    there wont be much cold air coming through the flue - there will be warm room air rising up the flue ie. convection.
    after sweeping, simply board the opening and insert a 9"x3" vent then leave the flue alone.
     
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