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Is Your Prefab Fireplace Rusting Out?

If your home was built within the past several decades, you likely have a prefabricated, or prefab fireplace and chimney system. This type of system is also known as factory-built, as the chimney and the fireplace are manufactured to be installed and operated as one unit. One of the reasons why prefab fireplaces have grown in popularity is because they produce more heat than the traditional masonry fireplaces.

However, prefab units typically do not last as long as traditional units. A common problem with prefab fireplaces is that they suffer from corrosive damage that can possibly lead to safety hazards. At Atlas Chimney, your safety is our top priority. We would like to tell you more about the importance of having your rusted prefab fireplace repaired or replaced.

How does a prefab fireplace become rusted?

prefab chimneySince a prefab chimney consists of a metal pipe, it is typically concealed by a structure called a chase. Instead of having a masonry crown installed at its top, prefab chimneys have a chase cover to protect your home from water leaks. At Atlas Chimney, we have been working on the chimneys in the Austin area for over 25 years. We have seen our fair share of water damage caused by chase covers. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), water can even rust or deteriorate metal firebox assemblies. It can leak behind the louvers of prefab fireplaces.

Why is a rusted prefab fireplace a possible safety hazard?

You may have heard that prefab fireplaces are dangerous fire hazards. This is because of the cracking that occurs when the firebox refractory panels have been rusted. When these panels are cracked, the extreme heat that is produced by the fires in your prefab fireplace can easily transfer through the cracks to the combustible parts of your home to ignite a devastating house fire. You can count on Atlas Chimney to properly repair cracks in the firebox panels of your prefab fireplace. However, you should consider the age of your unit too. If your prefab fireplace is over 15 years old, we can replace the unit with a new prefab system.

Have you noticed cracks or other signs of rusting on your prefab fireplace? Don’t hesitate to contact us at Atlas Chimney. We will inspect your unit and take care of any repairs to ensure your utmost safety.

Does Your Chimney Need a Cricket?

When you hear the term “chimney cricket,” you may think of the old tradition that dates back to pre-colonial England about a chirping insect inside the fireplace. According to this tradition, it is lucky to have a cricket in your home, especially near the chimney. However, we are referring to another type of chimney cricket. This cricket is on the roof as part of a flashing system, and it works to protect your chimney from water leak.

For over 25 years, Atlas Chimney has specialized in taking care of the leaky chimneys across the Austin area. We also repair and construct customized flashing including chimney cricket. We would like to tell you more about chimney crickets and their importance in your masonry chimney.

Does my chimney need a cricket?

Not every chimney needs a cricket. If your chimney is 30 inches or more wide, the NFPA 211 Standards and the International Residential Code state that a cricket must be constructed to certain specifications. A properly-constructed cricket keeps water away from the chimney by directing it down the sides of the roof. This allows you to avoid water leaking into the attic and ceilings. Without a cricket, you are at an increased risk of water damage to your home. This could mean stained ceilings and walls, damaged bricks and mortar joints, and rotted wood. If you suspect a chimney leak, then you need to contact the team at Atlas Chimney as soon as possible.

What can I expect from my appointment with Atlas Chimney?

When our professionals arrive at your home, we will do a water leak inspection of your chimney to find the source of the leak. Even if your chimney is less than 30 inches wide, you may still need a cricket if we find that water is leaking through the flashing. After we take precise measurements of the area, we will construct and install a cricket. If your flashing is damaged, we can make repairs or build a new one. You can count on us to properly customize the flashing to your chimney and to install it to protect your home from water leaks.

Keep water out of your chimney by investing in a chimney cricket in your flashing system. If you suspect a leaky chimney, contact us today at Atlas Chimney to schedule an appointment!

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