Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Stove Vent Hole

I had a mason out last week to take a look at the old stove vent hole I have in my kitchen.  I've chatted w/ a number of old house folks online that have had this same situation and they suggested calling a mason to rebrick the hole. This was also my intent.

It seems I have a knack for calling the guys who are all "I could do this, could so easily do this yourself and here is how....."  The mason was no exception. So, there you are really wanting to pay someone to take care of the problem.....but having enough info. to do it yourself and save a few hundred bucks.


The mason instructed me to fill the hole with concrete.  The trick was going to be keeping the wet concrete from running out the back of the hole and down the chimney.  I pondered this for a few days and then went down to the local hardware store and looked at what they had.

It needed to be flexible (so I could get it into the hole).  It needed to be either plastic or rust-proof metal.  It needed to be about 6"x6". Finally, somehow I had to be able to hold it in place at the back of the hole while I filled the hole with concrete. I was thinking some sort of metal lath - the kind they use for stucco.

I found a little, flexible, aluminum, 6"x6" patch that is used for drywall.  It had holes in it and a rough surface. It was sticky on one side. Perfect.

I tied a long strand of (mint) dental floss to the center. Rolled up the patch and shoved it into the hole.  When it was inside the chimney, I used the dental floss to pull the sticky side of the patch flat against the hole. Then I tied the dental floss to a short piece of wood in the inside to hold it in place.

Slowly I started to fill the hole with the concrete.  When I got about 3/4 the way filled, the concrete threatened to slide out, so I took a piece of cardboard and slide it into place. The cardboard came off easily once the concrete dried.

Much to my amazement. The whole process worked smoothly.  The hole is filled.  Now I need to cover the concrete with plaster.  This hole repair will be behind the new kitchen cabinet.


NV said...

Genius! Repeating the DIYer mantra: Where there's a will, there's a way. (And when there's no way in sight, there's always the checkbook ...)

Black Dog's Photographer said...

I'm going to have to save this post of yours. I have 2 of these vent holes in my future home. One in the kitchen and the second in the dining room. The one in the dining room looks like it's already been filled in but the one in the kitchen is just covered with the old plate (shaped like a small paper plate but it's metal and painted with an old time picture in the center - remember those?)

Humphrey House said...

That is a brilliant way to patch the hole. We had the same issue in our kitchen remodel, and ended up "sealing" it with a paint can lid which just about was the right size as the flue, and concrete then sprayfoaming (with low expansion foam) the inside. I like your way as it ensures a tight fit from the "inside".

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