Warped, Issues with prefab fireplaces.

Reblogger Roy Kelley
Real Estate Agent with Realty Group Referrals 16766

One of the most common issues I find during a home inspection with factory-built fireplaces is they are damaged from building too large and hot fires in them. These fireplaces can not handle these intense blazes that many people will build in them.

 

Original content by Donald Hester

Warped, Issues with prefab fireplaces.  A fire danger, hidden right in front of you.

 

Chelan Home Inspections





A very common appliance in homes, especially homes built after the 1960’s is the factory built, or prefab fireplace. People love their wood burning appliances and to get that traditional cozy feel they often opt for these prefabricated fireplaces because of cost and ease of installation, but they come with limitations and a hidden danger that most do not think about.  

 



These prefab fireplaces are not your traditional site-built masonry fireplaces that most people think of when they are thinking a wood fireplace. Traditional fireplaces are heavy masonry structures with a lot of mass that can handle a lot of heat energy. They are built on a foundation to carry the weight of that structure.



Traditional Fireplace


Factory-built/prefab fireplaces are lightweight engineered products designed to work as a system with the metal fireplace box and chimney. Typically installed in a framed chase. The manufacturer will specify how the installation is to be performed and what chimney to use.








One of the most common issues I find during a home inspection with factory-built fireplaces is they are damaged from building too large and hot fires in them. These fireplaces can not handle these intense blazes that many people will build in them.



 

This photo the warping is subtle but the wall is warped

 

In this photo the warping is not so subtle

 


Factory-built fireplace are made from solid sheets of metal. Many of the manufacturers will have refractory panels inside. These Panels typically look like bricks and helps prevent the fire’s heat from penetrating and damaging the firebox.





Refractory Panels



The intensity of these overbuilt fires warps or even cracks the metal of the firebox  or cracks the refractory panels in the fireplace. In this condition, the fireplace is a danger for fire and the damaged firebox and/or chimney will need to be replaced prior to use. You should not use a warped or cracked factory fireplace.

From one manufacturer-

“WARNINGS: Over firing the unit may result in overheating and can damage the fireplace or/and result in fire hazards. The maximum firewood load must not exceed 4 medium sized logs (approximately 30 pounds). Open the door to reload only when the wood has been reduced to charcoal, otherwise there is a risk of smoke infiltration into the house.

• This fireplace has been designed to burn with the door closed. When the fireplace

is functional, the door should only be opened when adding more wood.  “



When buying a home or even before the winter heating season a thorough inspection of the condition of your factory built fireplace should be performed.





 


 



“An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”

Orlando Aloysius Battista

 

 


 










If you find any errors or have additional information that would expand on any code, building standards or manufacturer requirements please let me know.


 

 


 

 

NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

 

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

 

Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College

 

WA Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

 

www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                                   509-670-9572



You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and on my website Blog.

 

If you find any errors or have additional information that would expand on any code, building standards or manufacturer requirements please let me know.





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Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Please be sure to leave comments at the original blog by Donald Hester

Nov 10, 2016 08:27 PM #1
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This reblog was not posted at the scheduled time. I had to manually post it.

Nov 10, 2016 08:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Thank you Roy Kelley for sharing this helpful information.
Wishing you a great Friday - with camera in hand - !!

Nov 10, 2016 08:42 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Thanks for the re-blog, Roy.  This is excellent information to share.

Nov 10, 2016 08:52 PM #4
Rainmaker
3,305,729
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Roy. Used to love some big fires but now have a gas fireplace much more tame! Enjoy your day!

Nov 10, 2016 09:31 PM #5
Rainmaker
5,428,250
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for your comments. It is always good to hear from you.

 

Nov 10, 2016 09:31 PM #6
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I am not receiving comment notifications. I hope this issue will soon be fixed.

Nov 10, 2016 09:36 PM #7
Rainmaker
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Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Nice reblog Roy Kelley as i might of missed it. I find this to be true on many home as well. lots of cracked bricks from fires meant for the outside

Nov 10, 2016 09:47 PM #8
Rainer
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Cody Carmen
Adhi Schools, LLC - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Market Analysis--Educational Content, Adhi Schools

Good choice of re-blog, I'm sure many of us didn't know much about this topic beforehand.

Nov 10, 2016 11:43 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Your comments and your continued support are very much appreciated.

Nov 11, 2016 11:10 PM #10
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Make it a habit to post a reblog every day. It is an easy way to pay it forward.

And, you will earn more ActiveRain points with this practice.

Nov 22, 2018 09:34 AM #12
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