Replacing Older Prefabricated Fireplaces
“Nothing lasts forever” is a saying that applies to basically everything, including prefabricated fireplaces. Yet people are often surprised to learn that their current prefab has reached the end of the line and needs to be replaced. In these cases, it’s important to remember that there’s a big difference between the traditional brick-and-mortar fireplaces and prefab units.
Prefabricated fireplaces do an awesome job in bringing heat and great looks into a home, but they have an acknowledged “shelf life” that’s about the same as a good-quality large kitchen appliance. You don’t buy a Frigidaire refrigerator and expect to hand it down to your grandchildren, and you shouldn’t expect your prefab fireplace to last for generation after generation.
Some differences between prefab and masonry fireplace
When it comes to wear, there are many similarities between prefabricated and masonry fireplaces. There are some differences, as well. As the name implies, prefab fireplaces are constructed in a factory as a single unit, rather than built into a home as a permanent fixture.
Problems that are common eventualities with prefabricated fireplaces include compromised chase covers that leak and can lead to chimney damage, and a missing termination cap. Often damage in these cases isn’t noticed until it’s too late and repair is either impractical or impossible.
Inspection and maintenance can prolong the life of a prefab fireplace
While there is an inevitable lifespan with prefab fireplaces, proper inspection, cleaning, maintenance and repair work can add life to the unit. Every type of appliance in the home that is used for heat and generates fire needs to be serviced periodically by a certified professional. In most cases, this means a chimney sweep company that has the tools, equipment and expertise to spot existing problems and prevent other problems.
Do prefab fireplaces come with warranties?
Most manufacturers of prefabricated fireplaces offer warranties that will protect the buyer should the appliance become defective during a specified time period. When buying a prefab, read the warranty closely, because it likely will be fairly detailed and specific about what is covered and what isn’t.
Like with most other warrantied products, the warranty that comes with a prefabricated fireplace isn’t a clear indicator of how long the unit will last. With proper care and correct operational practices, a prefab fireplace should outlive its warranty by a considerable margin.
Factors that affect lifespan
It’s not possible to say exactly how long a prefabricated fireplace will remain in good working order. Factors that determine the life of the unit include how often it is used, whether or not it is used according to manufacturer’s guidelines, weather conditions that might accelerate damage and how well and how often it is serviced.
A prefabricated fireplace is an excellent choice to bring warmth and ambience into a home. A huge variety of styles, shapes, sizes and finishes are available to suit the tastes of most homeowners. If you purchase a good model from a reputable manufacturer, you can expect many years of high performance and enjoyment.
Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, Ga., can help you make the right decision on a prefabricated fireplace. Our experts will answer your questions and show you some of the best units on the market. We’ll also help you prolong the life of your fireplace with expert inspection, cleaning and maintenance. Stop in and see us at 1155 McFarland 400 Drive, or reach us by phone at (770) 691-6707.