Thursday, 16 April 2009

Removing one of the fire place surrounds

We started by breaking the mortar underneath the hearth and then levered it out first with a spade.  Once that was out of the way we chipped away the plaster on either side to locate the retaining brackets.  With a little teasing and squeezing and finally a little sawing with a junior hacksaw the fire surround was off and be warned if you are doing this on your own make sure you prop it up with something sturdy as they are heavier than they look.
With the fire surround off we were left with the fire back which was secured by bricks and mortar within the fire place.  Now with the help of my dads SDS drill with a chisel bit I chipped out the bricks at the front and then broke the fireback into several pieces.  Behind all this was a loose rubble filling which was removed as I went.  I had to go buy another roll of sacks to bag all the extra rubble.  
After squaring up the top edge and sweeping out the floor I filled the hole left in the floor with mortar mix and smoothed it to the level of the current floor.  Later I will remove all the skirting and throw down a layer of leveling solution across the whole floor.  This will not only level my floor but also seal in the Asbestos Vinyl tiles.  I'll do this in every room if it works. 
There you go! lovely isn't it!  If you're doing this yourself I recommend buying decent dust masks and using them.  There is so much dust thrown about that it was very difficult to take these pictures as the flash picked up all the small particles which obliterated the picture.

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