We Can Replace Your Prefab Panels!
The firebox in your factory-made or prefabricated fireplace is built out of strong, heat-resistant refractory panels. These panels are made out of materials that are specifically designed to stand up to all the heat in your fireplace, but like anything that’s under consistent stress, the panels will begin to wear. When your panels begin to show signs of wear, you’ll need to have the refractory panels replaced with properly sized and properly installed new panels.
Weststar Chimney Sweeps technicians routinely repair and replace factory-built fireplace units, including prefab refractory panels. When we perform your annual chimney inspection, we’ll take a look at your firebox and assess whether the panels have worn to the point where replacement is necessary in order to maintain a reasonable level of safe use. But if you notice cracks or abrasions in the walls or floor of your firebox, call Weststar Chimney Sweeps, immediately — it’s not safe to use the fireplace if cracks are allowing heat and debris to gain access to the combustible materials around your fireplace. We want you to be able to enjoy your fireplace without putting your family at high risk.
Why Do Refractory Panels Wear Out?
There are a variety of reasons why the refractory panels in your prefabricated fireplace may begin to fail. User error can contribute – if, say, you burn materials other than seasoned cordwood in your wood-burning unit (like papers, cardboard and brush). Burning these materials can cause the fire to get excessively hot very quickly, which can lead to cracks in the joints of the refractory panels.
But these panels can and generally will also wear down simply from repeated use. Cracks can develop in the panel joints, and the surface can gradually abrade with years of fires.
Pre-fabricated fireplaces are great products, and with regular maintenance, can bring many years of enjoyment. But homeowners should expect to replace the refractory panels in the firebox at some point, in order to maintain an acceptable level of safety.
When Do I Need To Have My Refractory Panels Replaced?
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the general rule of thumb is to replace refractory panels when cracks in the panels have reached the thickness of a nickel, or when the surface of the panels has reduced a quarter inch or more in thickness, due to wear and deterioration.
Not sure if your factory-built firebox needs some attention? Our CSIA-certified technicians can help you assess the state of your panels, and replace them if needed. Call us if you have any concerns — we’d love to help! Call us today to schedule your appointment, or click here!
A hearth screen provides an extra level of safety as well as beauty to your fireplace. Check with the skilled crew at Weststar for the best information about this simple but skilled chimney installation.
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David was great -- cleaned both fireplaces neatly and quickly, and answered all my questions cheerfully. At the end of the cleaning, knowing that I had recently had back surgery, he even asked if he could help with anything - even offered to take out the trash!
~ Cynthia Johnson