Brick oven shelf life and ongoing maintenance

Hey folks!
I’ve had my oven for about 4 months and it’s still working great. It made me think, have any of you experience any issues with having to replace any firebrick, re-mortar anything… what’s the overall shelf-life of these ovens?

One thing comes to mind: if your outer shell remains stucco (as mine is), the stucco needs an annual painting to maintain moisture resistance. Even if there are no obvious chips or cracks, the paint will start to “open up” as it bonds with the mortar. The good news is that each coat actually strengthens and “closes” the stucco just a bit.

ah. I see, that’s good to know. but the inside of the oven holds it’s integrity?

Looking for comments from others.

I had one of the hearth firebrick chip severely before I had fired the oven. Here is how I replaced it.

Other than that I have not had any maintenance issues. A firebrick shell gets stronger as it is fired because of the materials used—heat-resist mortar in particular dries strong at ambient temperatures but becomes rock-hard once it is fired. (At one point in my construction I had to remove a row of set-in bricks from the arch, which I accomplished easily with hammer and masons chisel.)

very good info, appreciate the help with this!

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What do you use to paint the stucco? Or what type of paint is it? Thanks!

Hi Chelsey and welcome back!

Use a good exterior latex deck or patio paint. It’s pretty easy to find, it will waterproof the stucco shell, fills in very small cracks, and it looks great to boot!