Let Us Replace Your Prefab Panels Or Fireplace Screen
A to Z Chimney Services can help you with maintaining your prefabricated chimney and fireplace every step of the way. One of the most crucial repairs we make is replacing the walls—or panels—of Zero Clearance fireplaces (ZC’s). Prefabs or ZC’s are different from masonry fireplaces in that they are not made of brick and mortar. Instead ZC’s are made out of very thin sheet metal, and the walls are lined with refractory cement insulating panels that take the majority of the heat’s abuse and keep the metal cooler. ZC’s get their name because there’s very little “clearance” between the flammable 2×4’s and the outside of the sheet metal box. In fact, flammable 2×4’s are often located within ½ inch of the sheet metal. This means that what comes between your home and your fireplace has to be extremely heat resistant, and this is why damaged refractory panels should be repaired by a professional before you light even one more fire. Don’t risk it.
If you were to light a fire in a firebox with damaged or missing refractory panels, two things could happen. First, the thin sheet metal fireplace could get really hot and warp, thus permanently damaging the unit and requiring the entire fireplace to be replaced. Secondly, and worst of all, as the metal gets hot, you risk having the heat transfer onto the nearby flammable 2×4 studs, thus catching your house on fire.
Do I Need To Replace My Fireplace’s Refractory Panels?
How do you know when it’s necessary to replace your refractory panels? The rule of thumb is that once you can either get the edge of a credit card into the crack or once the panel is cracked all the way through and flexes when you press on it lightly, it must be replaced. Also, if no cracks are visible, but chunks of the cement have fallen off (known as “spalling”), it should be replaced as well.
Like any other household appliance, refractory panels will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. The more often your burn fires, the more quickly your refractory panels will need to be replaced. If your prefab’s walls are cracked or damaged, we recommend you discontinue any further fires until you have the damage inspected by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep and replaced if necessary.
We Carry And Install Fireplace Spark Screens
Among other fireplace accessories, we also carry an attractive line of spark screens that will keep your embers and sparks safely inside your firebox. Whether your spark screen is missing, stuck on its track, or just looking like its best days are behind it, we can locate the right screen for your fireplace.
If you see cracks in your factory-made fireplace’s firebox or you need a new fireplace screen, contact A to Z Chimney Services today. Email us at email@example.com, call us, or fill out our online appointment form!
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Dear A to Z,
We wanted to thank you and tell you that we were impressed by your employees and the work you did at Sunnyside Steakhouse & Lodge (Tahoe City, CA).
To reline our 50+ year old chimney, rebuild the firebox, install a fan on the top of our huge chimney, and refurbish our ornamental chimney cap was a big job.
You and your crew did it professionally, timely, and you were very clean. What we are excited about most is that we (and our guests!!) are enjoying a fire on a night when it would have been virtually impossible to do so because of the wind direction! No more chimney smoke spilling into our lodge! What you’ve done for us is fantastic. Thanks for taking this job even though it was out of your area.
~ Jeff Oxandaboure, General Manager & Janet Gregor, Lodge Manager
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