Chimney Repair FAQ Questions and Answers for DIYers


What types of repairs can I do on my wood stove myself?

As a DIYer, you can make some basic repairs to your wood stove yourself. Here are some examples:
  • Oven Gasket Replacement: The oven gasket can wear out and leak over time. You can remove the old gasket and install a new gasket according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Cleaning the combustion chamber: Regular cleaning of the combustion chamber is important to remove deposits and soot. Use a special oven brush or a vacuum cleaner with a suitable attachment to thoroughly clean the interior.
  • Replacing Firebox Liners: If the liner in the firebox is damaged, it may be necessary to replace it. Make sure you use the correct replacement parts and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

How can I maintain my wood stove to ensure optimal performance?

Regular maintenance of your wood stove is crucial to ensure optimal performance. Here are some maintenance tips:

  • Clean the flue: Regularly check the flue and clean it of deposits to ensure a smooth evacuation of smoke and gases.
  • Check the air supply: Make sure the air dampers or controls are working properly and are free of debris. A good supply of air is important for efficient combustion.
  • Check the seals: Regularly check the seals on doors and flaps and replace them if necessary. Well-functioning seals ensure efficient combustion and prevent smoke from escaping.
  • Clean your oven: Regularly remove the ash from the oven and the ash pan. A layer of ash that is too high can affect combustion and reduce the efficiency of the stove.

When is an inspection by a specialist advisable?

It is advisable to have your wood burning stove regularly inspected by a qualified stove fitter or chimney sweep to ensure it is working safely and efficiently.
Please note that complex repairs or maintenance beyond the above points are best carried out by a professional to avoid accidents or damage.


Why do you need an oven seal?

Heat-resistant oven gaskets and sealants are used to seal your oven door or chimney door. Fireproof sealing cords are glued into the chimney door using sealing adhesive, unless they are self-adhesive on one side.

Why are oven seals important?

Fireplaces and fireplace inserts should be sealed so that dangerous exhaust gases do not enter the living space. Your health must be protected! Furnace seals also protect against unnecessary wear and excessive fuel consumption. Minimal leaks lead to increased exhaust gas temperatures. The efficiency of combustion decreases. Your oven is using too much fuel. The stove pipe should also be inspected regularly. This smoke pipe could be leaking and drawing incorrect air into the combustion chamber. You can also find the right seals for these stove pipe cleaning openings here. When cleaning the smoke pipes regularly, always keep an eye on the stove seals in the smoke pipe.

How do you recognize a defective oven seal and, more precisely, when does it need to be changed?

Seals must be elastic and fit tightly. If the oven seal becomes brittle, it must be replaced. Some oven seals can be cut to size individually and can be used in a variety of ways. These sealing mats can be used, for example, for the cleaning openings on the stove pipe. Or they can also be used as insulation in fireplaces or ovens. Stove owners often notice spots of discoloration on the fireplace pane or need to heat more than before. Then the causes must be investigated.

What types of oven seals are there?

You can find seals on the fireplace door itself, on the stove glass or on the ash pan. But seals are also installed in the smoke pipe. Take a close look at the original oven gaskets. Then order a comparable seal from the range here. Keep in mind that it has become somewhat flattened over time. Also look at the fastening. The most commonly used sealant is sealant or heat-resistant silicone.

How do I measure the correct size for an oven gasket?

To find the right oven gasket, you can follow the steps below:

  1. First, remove the old sealing cord from the groove and clean the area thoroughly.
  2. Measure the size of the groove where the new gasket will be inserted (e.g. 6 × 10 mm).
  3. Close the fireplace door and measure or estimate the gap between the fireplace door and the stove body (e.g. 3 mm).
  4. Add the depth of the groove (e.g. 6 mm) to the distance of the door (e.g. 3 mm). Add a few more millimeters (e.g. 3 mm) to ensure that the gasket fulfills its sealing function. It is advisable to choose a slightly larger seal so that the fireplace door presses the seal properly against the body and ensures an effective seal. In this example, a 12mm round gasket would be a good choice.

Please note that this is just an example and exact measurements may vary depending on your individual stove. Take the time to carefully take measurements and find the right gasket for your specific oven.

oven racks

What are the advantages of an oven rack?

A stove grate is used in the combustion chamber for efficient combustion. The ash trickles through the slots into the ash pan below. The ash is thus collected and isolated from the combustion process itself. This means that enough air reaches the logs and wood briquettes from below. The fire is not smothered by a high mountain of ash. You can also use an appropriate ash scraper for this. With vibrating grates, this is done more easily using the lever that is moved to the outside. Simply shake it back and forth and the ashes will be transported into the ash tray.

How often do you have to replace an oven rack?

Due to the high temperatures during combustion in the firebox, the square and round oven grates are subject to a lot of wear. Over time, the fireplace grate will deform. Depending on how much heating is being done, this happens more quickly for one fire lover than for another. As soon as the deformation is clearly visible, the cast iron grate should be replaced.

How do I insert the oven rack correctly?

The narrow slot opening must face upwards. The conical opening must therefore become wider towards the bottom. There should be a gap of at least 0.5 cm around the side of the grate. The grate must be able to expand properly. If the rust cannot do this, a hump will form after a short time. In addition, care should be taken to ensure that the ash cone does not protrude directly under the grate during firing. Sufficient air must be able to flow through.

Which size of oven rack is the right one or how do I measure correctly?

Your old grate in your fireplace or oven is now quite warped and can no longer be measured precisely. However, that is not a problem. Instead, orientate yourself on the hollow in which the grate is located. Measure these and subtract at least 5 mm on each side. Why? Metal expands due to heat. This means that the rust will definitely expand. If it doesn't have enough room in length, it will bulge upwards and develop a hump. It is therefore important to continue to ensure in the future that the gap between the grate and the trough is free of foreign bodies so that the grate can “work”. Also pay attention to the correct positioning of the oven rack in the firebox. The conical spaces should become larger towards the bottom.

What do I do if I can't find an oven rack of the right size?

A large fireplace grate could be put together from two smaller oven grate. You could create a cast iron grate measuring 36 × 28 cm from 16 × 28 cm and 20 × 28 cm. However, if one side of the grate is too long, you can of course also use an angle grinder to bend off a grate strut. This is not an ideal solution. But I don't want to have to throw away my oven just because I can't find an oven rack anymore, right?


What do I do if cracks are visible in the fireclay or vermiculite bricks?

Hairline cracks in the firebricks or vermiculite panels are not a problem. However, as soon as the cracks become larger, you should act as quickly as possible. Why? Because the stones or plates protect the oven body. Large cracks or holes allow high temperatures to reach the body, which can warp and become damaged.

How are the vermiculite panels attached?

The vermiculite is usually just placed in the firebox. The construction is adapted so that all panels hold together.

How are firebricks attached to the combustion chamber?

Fireclay mortar is used to spread the joints. Depending on the area of ​​application or purpose, hydraulic and ceramic setting mortars are selected. Special fire mortars are used as repair mortars to repair damaged areas in the firebox. If firebricks are to be built, fireclay cement or refractory mortar should be chosen depending on the exact intended use.