A wood stove is capable of burning wood as fuel, which can be used in various ways.
Most people use it to warm themselves during the cold season. It is an economical option and provides sufficient heat to keep your home warm.
Most wood-burning stoves are made of strong cast iron, but modern ones are made of clay and soapstone.
These are durable materials but can crack at one point. This causes a lot of inconveniences and hence the need to do something about the crack.
Can You Fix A Crack In A Wood Stove?
A big percentage of traditional and modern mobile home approved wood stoves are made of cast iron. While the material is extremely durable, it gets cracks with time. The best thing is that you can fix the cracks. Repairing the wood stove is not too hard, so do not rush to throw it away. You can have it fixed by a professional technician or do it yourself, depending on the crack’s extent.
Here are some steps you can follow to fix your stove at home and save money.
7 Things You Need To Fix a Cast Iron Manufactured Home Wood Stove
- Rubber gloves
- Drop cloth
- Furnace cement
- Paint scraper
- Putty knife
- Wire brush
- Degreasing cleaner
10 Cracked Wood Stove Repair Steps
1. Start by turning off your stove and give it enough time to cool off.
2. Spread a drop cloth and use a paint scraper to remove all the flaking metal.
With the cloth on the floor, you minimize the mess that may occur as you remove the rusty particles.
3. Wash your stove thoroughly using warm soapy water to remove all grease and dirt.
Ensure the cracked part is free of any residues for the furnace cement to adhere properly. But, be sure to leave the stove to dry before you move to the next step.
4. Using the putty’s knife tip, stir the furnace cement into a smooth, creamy solution.
5. Dampen the area that needs repair with some water. But this step is not required for all products. You can apply on the dry surface in some wood stoves and still get desired results.
6. Use the putty knife to scoop the cement and apply a thick paste on the crack. Press down the cement to ensure that the crack is completely sealed.
7. Apply another generous layer on the crack and smooth it out using the putty knife. Remove any excess cement and blend the edges on the stove surface to give a neat final look.
8. Give the cement enough time to dry.
9. Light up the stove and keep the fire low to allow the cement to cure.
10. You can increase the stove’s heat gradually by adding more pieces of firewood. With time, the cement cures completely, resulting in a solid and uniform mass.
Since furnace cement can emit fumes, use the wood stove in a well-ventilated area until the cement is cured. Remember to wear your gloves before you start fixing the crack.
4 Common Causes of a Wood-Burning Stove Cracks
Wood stoves get cracks despite being made of sturdy material. Here are some of the common causes of cracks in the wood-burning stove.
1. Unsupported flue pipe
The flue pipe is one of the leading causes of a crack in a wood stove.
This happens even when your wood stove is made of durable and long-lasting material.
A flue pipe that is not properly structured can cause undue pressure leading to a crack on the stove.
The repairing process might be complicated, especially if the crack was discovered too late.
But, fixing this type of crack is not impossible. If you cannot do it, get the right technician with the skills and equipment to do it.
2. Over firing the stove
Most people are surprised to hear that they may be over firing their wood stove.
The cast iron is durable, but the high temperature may be too much than what it’s made to withstand. The inner part of the wood stove heats up faster than the outer part. This causes pressure, which can lead to cracks.
The primary cause of over firing is excess air into the wood stove that accelerates the flames. This causes high temperatures that affect the stove’s body.
The door seals of your stove should be checked for any gaps that may allow air into the stove.
3. Too Much Fuel
Piling a lot of firewood (i.e. hemlock, sweet gum) can be too much for your cast iron firewood. This causes hot spots on your hot stove and eventually, the crack.
You should know the right amount of wood to use to avoid over-fueling while getting enough heat for the intended purpose.
Get a flue pipe thermometer to help you monitor the heat.
Check your stove’s manual guide to know the optimum temperature for your stove to offer efficiency and safe heating. If you notice the temperature is above what is recommended by the manufacturer, reduce the fuel.
4. Damaged Baffle Plate
A baffle plate ensures even the spread of heat and flame in your wood stove.
It prevents hot spots in your stove. But if it’s damaged, some sensitive areas such as the fluent collar quickly get affected by hot spots and crack.
The baffle plate should be checked regularly to prevent not only cracks but also save fuel.
The best thing is that a baffle plate can be replaced. Just check for an ideal spare part in your local market and have it installed, and your woodstove will be as good as new.
Most people believe that a cast-iron stove cannot crack easily. However, those with rich experience of using this type of a stove know that these cracks are real.
It is easy to prevent cracks; just avoid overheating the stove.
Have the flue pipe, and baffle plate checked regularly; these two are most susceptible to damage leading to cracks.
5 Uses Of The Wood Stove
A wood-burning stove has more uses beyond warming up your house during winter. Seeing the bright flames on a cold night makes you feel warm.
All you need is get some well-seasoned pieces of wood, and you will not remember how cold it is outside.
However, a wood stove can be used in different ways, including:
1. Heating water
You can use the wood stove to heat water for various uses in your house.
Even keeping a pot of water on the stove without a lid humidifies the air in your house and keeps the environment comfortable.
2. Cooking Food
You can use a wood stove for cooking food as long as it has a flat surface where you can place your pot. As you heat the house, you can save money by using the stove to make your meals.
3. Drying clothes
During a cold or rainy season, you light a wood stove in your laundry room and it will help dry your damp clothes. It comes handy when you want to save a few dollars on power bills or your dryer is not working.
4. Providing coziness in your space
A wood stove doesn’t have to be messy. Just make sure you remove excess ash before lighting up. You can also place a pallet where you can lie down with your pets or a loved one to enjoy the warmth. Otherwise, a wood-burning stove is one of the easiest ways to create coziness in your space without spending a fortune.
2 Things To Look For In A Wood Stove
1. It should cook
When looking for a wood stove, make sure it can cook. While most salespeople may not think you need to cook with this stove, they sometimes come in handy.
However, be ready to cope with the mess that comes with cooking on a wood stove such as stained pots and lack of solid control over cooking temperature leading to burnt food.
2. Should be suitable for your space
Select a stove that suits your space perfectly.
These stoves are available in both large and small sizes.
If you buy a huge stove for a small room, it may cause discomfort due to too much heat, and a small one may not be sufficient for a large space. You can choose to use it in your living room, library, or kitchen.
But the best place is always where you can see it at all times. Remember, it warms a room as long as the fire is alive and needs to be refueled after some time.
Related: How To Buy A Manufactured Home Approved Wood Stove
A wood stove is one of the easiest things you can maintain on a low budget.
If you are keen and keep checking for signs of cracks, most of them can be repaired without spending a lot of money.
However, remember to follow instructions given by your manufacturer when fixing your wood burning stove.