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Exposing Brick Chimney

We recently bought a Victorian home built in 1910. We are just beginning to strip paint off woodwork, paint, repair plaster, and possibly expose a brick chimney in a extra bedroom.
The home has two chimneys, four fireplaces, currenly all unusable. They are in various states...two have nice tiling and beautiful wood mantles(but painted), one is completely covered over (only the hearth extension is visible), and in an extra bedroom the ugliest one has cracking grout and paint over the chimney, a cracked hearth extension, ugly tiling, and an original mantle with many layers of paint on it.
What are your thoughts on exposing the brick of the chimney and retiling the fireplace/ hearth extension in the extra bedroom. Will it be keeping with the 1910 victorian style of the house? What should we know about chimneys before going too far? Right now we are just interested in making the fireplace look nice...but in the future how difficult might it be to make the chimney functional??

Thanks for any advice!!

Re: Exposing Brick Chimney

Have the chimneys inspected. It is possible, considering the age of the house, that you have brick unlined chimneys that may need to be lined to be usable. They may not have dampers or have dampers that don't seal in which case they would be like giant vacuums sucking the hot air out of the house.

Chances are more likely that the brick inside the house was plastered over rather than exposed.

Re: Exposing Brick Chimney

Well we tore down all the plaster/ grout that was covering the chimney. It came off pretty easily and the brick seems to be in good condition. From here we are going to clean the brick with a brass brush, use somesort of rinse, fill any cracks with grout or mortar (not sure which to use), then seal it. I have pictures, but it seems very difficult to upload them here.

only major question is if the chimney is capped (we did find a few bird skeletons in the foot of soot in the fireplace!)

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