Factory built, or prefabricated fireplaces, are relative newcomers to the fireplace scene, commonly available only for the last 30 years or so. Prefab fireplaces have allot of the same issues as masonry fireplaces but also have many problems that masonry fireplaces do not have. Prefab fireplaces have a lifespan like many appliances such as a range or refrigerator but without regular maintenance that life can be shortened considerably. THC finds many back walls and sidewalls that are cracked and need to be replaced. Small cracks that seem minor may be a sign that a bigger problem may be putting your home and family in danger. Cracks in the panels where you build your fire can let heat transfer
to metal that surrounds your firebox, causing it to rust. Once rusted open
holes allow so sparks and embers to ignite the woodwork used to build your chimney causing a house fire. The piping that carries the smoke from prefab fireplace out your home is another area where prefabricated fireplaces need to be checked for problems. Rusted chase covers(see chase covers under services page ) allow moisture to cause metal walls to also rust and then heat can transfer to woodwork used to build chimney. Excessive heat can cause piping to wrap and pull apart one again allowing the conditions for a house fire to occur. THC can inspect for prefabricated fireplace system with our top of the line is inspection camera and make pictures and/or video of possible damage. THC repairs and replaces side and back walls piping and complete prefab fireplace systems. With proper installation and maintenance, they can give years of service, but THC uses these examples as things customers can look for
and if found call us to further inspect your prefabricated chimney system.
TOP HAT REPAIR BACKWALLS FOR PRE-FABS OFTEN DUE TO MIS HANDLING
☆☆ Most factory built fireplaces are tested and listed as decorative heating appliances and guys oh will not withstand the abuse often heaped on their masonry counterparts. Although they are tested to U.L. standards, severe over firing and chimney fires will often badly damage these units. Having THC do your yearly service, maintenance and cleaning at generally 1/8″ buildup, and careful monitoring can assure a safe enjoyable system.
☆☆ Many prefab chimneys, especially older units with an imitation brick housing above the roof, seem to be a preferred nesting site for birds in many areas. It is not unusual for chimney sweeps to take literally buckets of nesting material from these chimneys. This nesting can catch fire directly, or it can block critical air passageways between layers of metal chimney pipe, allowing the chimney to overheat. Both scenarios routinely cause house fires. Most aftermarket chimney covers do not
correctly address the problem, and can often make the situations worse. A careful screening of all potential nesting areas with the proper sized
screening may be in order.