Does this fireplace inserts need to be replaced immediately.

I inspected my first home with a fireplace. It is a wood burning fireplace and the ceramic backing has crumbled revealing the metal backing, which is rusty. Can this fireplace still be used at all or does it need immediate replacement?

The picture is dated February of 2010. I hope you are not inserting pics in reports with the wrong date.

I would advise a clean and scan.
There is a product called a fireback that is a metal plate that can be used.

This is only a small portion of the fireplace/chimney.

I would be using a probe to evaluate the bricks and mortar. Can not tell the integrity of the materials from the picture.


As a WETT certified inspector this is the heat shield and it can not be compromised. If you have a WETT certified inspector in your town he should say the same thing.
You must not do any inspections of a fireplace until you have reviewed the basics and passed the exams for WETT Inspection.
Visual is OK but always get proper opinion from a professional.:slight_smile:

My bad, I had a hard time seeing the pic.

Helps to be there and not go by a picture. So I can see the entire fireplace chimney (Making excuses as I feel like an idiot)

Is this Wesley an attorney looking for other professional opinions? Care should be used on the public side of this message board.

Hi’ Gary, simply call for the repair of the fireplace insert. There is fireproofing brick and morter just for that type of application.

Fireplaces that are built with brick /ceramic panels like this have a UL listing. The panels can be replaced with specific parts approved by the manufacturer. They cannot be repaired with mortar and keep their UL listing. The panel must be replaced.

This fireplace should not be used in the current condition. Many of these have wood framing members just a few inches from the back of the unit. It could very well start a fire.

Recommend the fireplace NOT be used until the unit has had the proper panel replacement in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the warning is serious enough that you client understands the unit cannot be used.

It can not be compromised at all.
That’s is all I can say.
No hair line cracks in the masonry, ceramic brick, not voids in the cement flooring or ash-been casing .
You should have also looked up the flue and taken photos.
Open the damper door and look up with you flash light.
You want the flue liners to be lined up as close to plumb as possible.
Look-at the dampers condition.
Look in the ash-been down stairs or out outside for masonry jointing that had fallen from brick, spalling liners brick. look at crown for cracks.
Cracks are the first sign that water infuriation is on going.
Do your WETT Wisely.
It a feather in your cal.

The Wett certification is in Canado only correct?

What would be the equivelint certification in the states?

Yes only in Canada haven’t been able to find an similar org in U.S. but your chimney sweeps should have had the training to make these type of calls.

I lied found it.

Do not even get into that sweep and sweep stuff Garry.
These guys are bums and work with unscrupulousness repair guys to pocket $$$$$$
You saw my post at ACHI and here about the sweep I went behind.
The called out a fire trap as a smoke chamber.