Firing a very old brick oven which hasn't been used for years
I have a friend in the UK who is lucky enough to live in a very old house with a brick oven built inside the fireplace to one side on the chimney. Judging by the stones on the inside of the dome it looks to be in fantastic (perfect) condition to me, and every time I visit I think of the great pizzas just waiting to come from it, but he refuses to fire it up! He says he believes it will cause irreparable damage and isn't prepared to take the risk...
Should I try and persuade him? If it were my house I'd have fired it up the first (or second) night after I had moved in, but I'm not sure I want to take the responsibility of anything going wrong!
Re: Firing a very old brick oven which hasn't been used for years
Old wood burning fireplaces can be a problem. A lot of the flues aren't properly lined and can present a fire hazard. A tiny twig fire should disclose if there are any smoke leaks, and a visual inspection of the flue can show cracking or gaps.
If it's in the house, you have to be careful. I'd say call in a chimney professional, but they make their living relining flues, and I doubt they ever see a flue that doesn't "need" their expensive services.
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