We love our chiminea and have been very careful with it...however, we've noticed a few small cracks in the back of it. Is there anything we can do to stop them from getting worse? I would appreciate any advise you can give us...our "Chimi" is like another member of our family! Thank you.
In scouring scores of articles on chimineas as well as the instructional handouts of a number of companies, I have come to the conclusion that chiminea repair is an "iffy" proposition. People have suggested using drywall compound, plaster of Paris, caulk, etc. The problem with chimineas is they are heated. None of the products mentioned above are designed to withstand significant heat. And even a lightly-fired chiminea can get pretty darn hot! After looking over a number of product options, I have concluded the best material to use is a high-temperature epoxy adhesive... for three reasons. First, it can "take the heat". Second, it dries hard and sticks well to most dry, dust-free surfaces. Three, it can be sanded smooth and painted. (Just make sure the brand you purchase is sandable! You don't want a lumpy repair now, do you?
PERMATEX manufactures another high temperature epoxy. If you can't find it locally, you can order it from CARPARTS.COM. Another product that has been successful in chiminea repair is RTV high temperature silicone caulk. This material is used as a liquid gasket for automotive engines and also for high temperature duct sealing. This can be purchased from CARPARTS.COM also. One problem with RTV caulk is that it is not paintable. Since it comes in brilliant red, you have to be the final arbiter of good taste, aesthetically speaking!
I can't advise strongly enough not to try to repair a badly cracked chiminea with any adhesive unless you are absolutely sure that no one will be injured if the repair fails and you have eliminated any fire hazard by placing your chiminea on a fireproof surface! Please!
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