Reopening fireplace in brick chimney breast

I'm reinstating a fireplace and have taken the plaster off the chimney breast. There's an old brick arch opening that's been roughly filled in. Do I need to support the brickwork as I take out the infill or should the old brick arch be holding everything in place?

Asked by Mo on 12th Feb 2023
Expert Trade Answers
"there should be no need to prop if brick arch is in good state"
Answered on 7th Mar 2023 - Member since Jun 2020 - report
"If there are no bricks missing from the arch, and no gaps to weaken the structure. Then it should be ok."
Answered on 12th Feb 2023 - Member since Dec 2017 - report
"Providing the existing arch is structurally sound it will be fine, you generally will find that there will be a wrought iron support to the underside, if so do not remove this support!"
Answered on 6th Apr 2023 - Member since Jan 2023 - report
"The arch should hold in place if you carefully take away what you want to but it also depends on the mortar between the bricks. If it’s dry and dusty there’s a good chance it will fall away"
Answered on 12th Feb 2023 - Member since Jan 2023 - report
"support the brickwork above the arch and then take out the arch"
Answered on 1st May 2023 - Member since Oct 2019 - report
"As long as the Arch doesent have any cracks through it and the compo hasent turned to powder then you will be okay.
Brickwork is self supporting but brick arches are used to evenly spread the load.
Hope this helps"
Answered on 14th Apr 2023 - Member since Jan 2020 - report
"Question is why was it bricked in and does the old arch has cracks / movement

If arch seems to be in tact it will support the weight above if arch was built correctly with tight spliced bricks and joints"
Answered on 12th Feb 2023 - Member since Jan 2019 - report
"Hi , I would say the brick arch should support the brickwork above, but just take things easy when knocking the old brickwork below out, good luck !! Ps if u get stuck give me a ring ."
Answered on 12th Feb 2023 - Member since Jan 2018 - report
"I have done one of these before. The old brick arch should support the wall as designed. But it needs to be in good order. There might be a need for basic repairs to the brickwork: pointing it mostly."
Answered on 22nd May 2023 - Member since May 2023 - report
"The old brick arch was built in for that reason,,so no problem to remove whats below,hope that helps"
Answered on 12th Feb 2023 - Member since Jan 2020 - report
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