Prefabricated fireplaces are a common part of the Kansas City Chimney Sweep scope of work. Both prefabricated chimneys and a prefabricated fireplace can be beautiful and affordable. A fireplace sweep and chimney cleaning, as well as the fireplace inspection, are required to ensure chimney safety.
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Why Choose a Prefab Fireplace?
Prefabricated fireplaces and chimneys were incorporated into home and apartment construction in response to the building boom of America and the Kansas City Metro in the 1960s and as time goes by, only increased in popularity.
Why choose a prefab fireplace?
For two reasons:
- It’s a responsible choice for those looking for an economical wood or gas fireplace in a home with chimney safety built into its design.
- Unlike its brick fireplace counterpart, a “prefab fireplace” is:
- Can be installed with minimal construction skills
- Mass produced, so the end cost is less
- Prefabricated Fireplaces are an assembled unit; Quickly installed on-site
- Designed and built for fire safety
The Factory-Built Appeal
It’s easy to understand the appeal of these factory-built fireplace and chimney products to add warmth to home and hearth. Homeowners take comfort in knowing special steps were taken for the end users benefit.
We should understand, these engineered hearth products are only safe and functional when the two main components (chimney and fireplace) are installed together. The fireplace manufacturers underwent testing of the prefabricated fireplaces and chimney together. This ensures many years of chimney safety and performance.
In Kansas City, your Full Service Chimney sweep has performed many prefabricated chimney repairs and fireplace inspections of factory-built chimneys and fireplaces. We have seen first-hand that prefabricated fireplaces and chimneys can have just as many issues as the brick chimney and fireplace variety.
Design of Prefabricated Fireplaces
A Factory-Built Fireplace Firebox is constructed of sheet metal pieces formed and riveted together. On the inside portion that is exposed to flame, refractory panels are then placed on the walls and beneath the fireplace grate where the heat is the highest. To minimize heat transfer, between the sheet metal of the prefabricated fireplace and refractory panels, are engineered air spaces that reduce the heat to nearby combustibles. Finally, the prefabricated fireplace damper, found at the top of fireplace firebox, is incorporated into the base of the prefab chimney flue.
Many prefabricated fireplace installations also have a fireplace glass door and a screen to help limit the sparks that escape and to add a sense of security to have a fire in the home. While prefabricated fireplace glass doors are frequently optional, the fireplace spark screen and prefabricated fireplace refractory panels should always be present.
Proper Chimney & Prefabricated Fireplace Installations
As with Masonry chimneys and brick fireplaces, proper construction and annual maintenance (chimney sweeping and fireplace inspections) are very important. In regards to proper fireplace installation, to avoid a home or chimney fire, it is important to follow the prefabricated fireplace’s installation manual and use only proper chimney parts.
If, for example, the fireplace manufacturer installation manual required the prefabricated fireplace firebox have an airspace of several inches to combustibles, and instead it is too close, or worse touching, a house fire could be the result if, when those combustibles overheat. Likewise, if the fireplace glass doors that were designed for a brick fireplace were accidentally installed on a prefabricated fireplace, cooling from air circulation around the refractory panels in the prefabricated fireplace firebox would be compromised, and overheating would likely result. For this reason, prefabricated fireplace inspections and chimney sweeping are extremely important.
During a fireplace cleaning, your Full Service Chimney sweep will not only remove the soot and creosote, to avoid a chimney fire but perform a Level 2 Chimney Inspection with a video inspection of the chimney flue.
Fireplace Inspection Performed by a Certified Chimney Inspector is important. The NFPA211 (National Fire Protection Association code) requires a fireplace and chimney be inspected annually. Only by a close examination by a Full Service Chimney Inspector can issues of deterioration or defects in the original installation of the prefabricated fireplace be found.
After all, do families want a clean fireplace only to realize, too late it was lacking in all the important qualities that make up chimney safety?
Do you need a Prefabricated Fireplace Inspection?
Trust your Prefabricated Fireplace to the trained technicians Kansas City has trusted for the last thirty years.
Call 913-642-6171 and speak with one of our Certified Chimney Sweeps.