Your prefab fireplace is an essential part of your home, serving as much more a mere generator of heat. During the frosty winter months, you and your family gather around its warm, welcoming fire for a sense of security and comfort. It’s hard for you to picture something going wrong with your prefab fireplace, but before you get too comfortable, it is important to understand that as a manufactured appliance, your prefab fireplace has a limited lifespan and is meant to be periodically replaced. Fortunately, Total Chimney Care is here to help when this time comes for your prefab fireplace.
Unlike a masonry fireplace, a prefab fireplace is a factory-made product that can, at best, last for up to 20 to 30 years if well maintained; however, the average life expectancy is between 10 to 15 years. Often homeowners do not realize that there is damage to their prefab fireplace until a routine chimney sweeping or inspection is performed. How soon your prefab fireplace needs replacing can be determined by a number of factors.
Water is the biggest cause of damage to any fireplace or chimney. Water leaks in the case of pre-fab fireplaces, can lead to rust. Leaking chase covers are a major cause of damage to prefab fireplaces. Other common causes of leaks leading to prefab fireplace rust are a missing termination cap and impaired flashing. If you see any water or leaks from your chimney, have them addressed by a chimney professional right away.
Burning a lot of hot fires will cause damage to the flue liner. Prefab fireplaces are better equipped for occasionally burning fires, whereas masonry fireplaces are more capable of handling regular use. If you use your prefab fireplace nearly everyday during the cold months, consider upgrading to a wood or gas insert for more efficient heat and longevity. More efficient heat means lower heating bills.
Chimney fires can quickly ruin a prefab fireplace’s stainless steel flue liner and will need to be replaced. There also might be damage to the fireplace that will need to be inspected for safety. Chimney fires are usually caused by creosote that is stuck in the chimney because it was not routinely cleaned out. Avoid chimney fires by getting your chimney cleaned annually.
Prefab fireplaces are composed of several manufactured components such as a damper, smoke dome, flashing, and rain cap; and some parts are not interchangeable and when damaged. Parts must be replaced that match the exact brand name and model number of the original parts. This means that repair is no longer possible if the exact part that is needed is no longer made. In this case, the entire prefab fireplace will need to be replaced.
Your prefab fireplace is a critical part of your home and family life, but just like any other appliance, it requires periodical replacement. If you live in the New Haven and Fairfield areas of Connecticut and suspect that your prefab fireplace needs replacing, call the professionals at Total Chimney Care today and schedule an appointment. Total Chimney Care is delighted to bring you the service you deserve and will ensure that you have a prefab fireplace to keep you warm and cozy through the upcoming winters.