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Upkeep for Your Pre-Fab Fireplace

The Basics of Maintaining Your Prefabricated Fireplace.

A prefabricated fireplace is a great option for someone who does not have a masonry fireplace included in the structure of their home. However, some homeowners do not realize that these structures require just as much attention and maintenance as their counterparts. In order to safely enjoy a prefabricated fireplace, it is absolutely necessary to follow a few important guidelines for maintenance.

When purchasing a prefabricated fireplace, it will be necessary to also purchase a chimney and a cap. What people must keep in mind is that the manufacturers create all three of these pieces to be used together. It is absolutely necessary to only use the chimney and cap that are intended to go with the particular fireplace. Mixing and matching will affect not only the efficiency but also the safety of the entire system and should be avoided at all times.

As with any fireplace, it is necessary to keep a prefabricated fireplace clean in order to have it function properly. Be sure to remove any excess material left in the fireplace, but you will need to leave about one eighth of an inch on the bottom for proper insulation. It is best to double-check the cleanliness of the fireplace before starting a fire and then to clean it thoroughly after putting the fire out.

A properly fitted chimney cap keeps debris, birds and animals from your chimney.

Some people think that their prefabricated fireplace is not vulnerable to the same type of problems as a masonry fireplace. However, this is not the case and it is important to provide some of the same maintenance. For example, birds are just as likely to make their nests in a prefabricated chimney as they are in a masonry one. Be on the lookout for these issues and resolve them as quickly as possible.

In general, it is necessary to monitor normal wear and tear on a prefabricated fireplace a bit more closely than a masonry option. Since they are made out of materials that are not quite as durable as, for example, brick, they will not stand up to as much stress. In order to make sure it is functioning properly at all times, inspect the fireplace regularly and call a professional immediately if there are any unexplained changes.

Although a prefabricated fireplace differs structurally from a masonry fireplace, many of the same safety and maintenance rules apply. For example, it is important to only burn properly dried wood and to not put any foreign material into the fireplace. It is also important to make sure the chimney is clear of obstructions to avoid smoke in the home. Failure to follow these simple rules can cause serious safety hazards.

A prefabricated fireplace is a great option for anyone who does not have a fireplace attached to their home. In order to use it safely, it is important to remember that many of the same safety and maintenance rules apply to a masonry fireplace. In fact, they require a bit more attention because they are not built to withstand the same normal wear and tear as masonry fireplaces. Be sure to only use them with the appropriately compatible pieces, such as the chimney and cap. Keep the fireplace clean at all times and keep in mind that it can have the same issues as other fireplaces, such as dangerous obstructions in the chimney.

The Different Types of Chimneys

The fireplace chimney is the component of the system that pulls hot air through the firebox and out of the house. It also provides the fire with air. There are many types of chimneys and masonry and manufactured are the most common. Each type has unique advantages and homeowners should review these prior to selecting a new chimney for the house.

The different types of chimneys for your home

A masonry chimney is made from brick, stone, or a similar material and lined with clay tile to hold these materials together. A flue lining made from baked clay increases safety and makes cleaning an easy process for a qualified chimney sweep. A manufactured chimney is created in a factory and transported to the installation location. It is usually made from metal, must be used with solid fuel heat, and does not require a liner.

A mass-insulated, double-walled chimney features insulation between two metal layers. Heat is absorbed by the insulation and the metal layers contain the heat that is not absorbed by the insulating material. An air-cooled chimney contains nothing but air between the two layers of metal. Circulation of air helps to dissipate the heat. An air-insulated chimney looks similar, but it restricts air movement and insulates the heat.

Some chimneys incorporate different aspects of each type of manufactured chimney, resulting in a hybrid design. Manufactured chimneys are less expensive than masonry versions but they require use of factory-built fireplaces. Most fireplaces typically work with only one type of chimney. To learn more about this, the homeowner should consult with a professional chimney sweep.

Installing the wrong type of chimney can break the fireplace or cause a house fire. It is better to rely on expert guidance than to guess during chimney selection or installation. Whether the chimney is being replaced or a new chimney is being installed during new construction, consult with a professional prior to making any decisions.

By Ronald Caillais on December 4th, 2012 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment
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