A pre fabricated chimney is made from metal and is an alternative to a traditional masonry chimney, which is made from mortar and brick. Pre fabricated chimneys have been available since the 1980s and are typically used with pre fabricated fireplace systems. When it comes time to select fireplace systems for their remodeled or newly constructed homes, homeowners should be aware of the pros and cons of pre fabricated chimneys.
The pre fabricated type of chimney is less prone to leakage than is a masonry chimney. However, if it is not properly maintained, the sealant around the storm collars or chimney lining pipes can deteriorate and cause leaks. A leak can also result if the chimney chase cover is damaged. Therefore, annual chimney inspection is recommended to ensure that the system is in peak operating condition.
A chimney that is prefabricated is less sturdy than a standard masonry chimney is. Even a small chimney fire can damage the structure so regular chimney cleaning is important. Cleaning should be performed annually or more often if the fireplace is used on a regular basis. Only a certified professional should clean the area because this individual knows which techniques and equipment to use.
When properly installed and maintained, a prefabricated chimney and fireplace system will provide years of use. A chimney professional can ensure proper product selection and correct installation. A building inspector will examine the system to verify that it was installed according to local building codes.
Homeowners deciding between pre-fabricated and masonry chimneys should consult with a chimney professional to help them make a well-informed choice. This individual will inspect the area to determine the proper size and correct type of chimney and fireplace to install. The result will be a safe, reliable system that provides supplemental heating to the home for many years.