Jon Eakes

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Last Updated: , Created: Sunday, January 14th, 2001

Protecting the wall behind a wood stove.

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Melissa sent in an e-mail worrying about the fact that the paint on the wall behind her wood burning fireplace is so hot that it is bubbling.

That is too hot. Check the manufacturer's instructions if you have them -- each appliance has specified distances from combustible surfaces. Yours is obviously too close. If you want to keep the stove closer than the specified distance, you can put a 'radiation shield' between the stove and the wall, which will usually reduce the clearances by half. A radiation shield is any non-combustible material with an air space between it and the wall. The air space is critical -- air circulating freely back there will take the heat away before it reaches the wall. The barrier itself is often reflective -- usually a piece of sheet metal, sometimes a freestanding screen. You can also make a decorative wall with decorative bricks or stones, as long as they are non-combustible which usually means masonry or ceramic, put on a non-combustible board, such as cement board that is attached to the wall with metal strapping. Raise the whole things off the floor so that air can circulate freely behind this shield and keep the wall cool.

On this TV segment we built a radiation shield with RenoStone, concrete "stones". This gives you a classy finish that is fire safe.

 

Keywords: Safety, Fire, Wood, Heating, Security, Strapping, Stove

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