I'm in the processes of renovating a house my wife and I just purchased. The interior of this house was 98% covered in wood paneling. When I ripped off the paneling behind the fire place I found warped brittle sheet rock. Even the paneling was brittle and discolored. It looked as if there was once a leak behind the wall but after removing a section of the wall the back side of the sheet rock does not look consistent with a leak.
From the wire mesh on the fire place to the wall measures 4 feet. Is 4 feet enough clearance between sheet rock and an open flame? I'm thinking the damage I am seeing is heat damage...?
If the fireplace is too close to the wall I could put up cement board and some kind of stone on the wall if that would help. Ripping out the fireplace was on the table at one point in time but we figured a good cleaning would make it look awesome. Any help would be appreciated.
4' is more than enough distance. Over time just having the fireplace there could dry things out - especially if it was really cranked up and used frequently. But there should be no threat of fire or damage from 4' away.
At the same time, if you installed some form of decorative wall that was fireproof - like tile - it wouldn't hurt anything and could look cool too.
Agreed with Jaybee -- tile, brick, rock, take your pick, that would give it a rustic look, and give protection at the same time.
If you do use that fireplace you'll soon see why you rarely ever see them many more.
They will burn up wood as fast as you can load it and put out little heat.
They draw in so much make up air it will create a negative pressure drawing cold air into the rooms.
A real airtight wood stove will use 1/2 the wood and give out twice the heat.
Great, Thank you for confirming the distance to the wall is acceptable. There's a pellet stove in the corner (not in the picture) that I was going to put stove behind. It's not to far from the fireplace, I'll just have to figure out how to make this look good.
@joecaption - You're absolutely right, these things are far from efficient! Thats the main reason why we were considering removing it. It will not be used often at all as this will be more of a "feature"... I guess... Just something to set the mood when all the family is over for the holidays or something. The previous owner created a very effective plug for the flu that is in when it's not being used. And a temporary cover to put on after burning wood to limit the heat loss a little until it's safe to re-plug it. I still have to attempt to clean it before the floors go down so if that doesn't work out and it still looks dingy and outdated then I'll probably end up ripping it out.
For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.