Lat Works Logo

Lat Works Construction

Serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, NY

Fireplace Vs Masonry Prefab Chimneys

Masonry chimneys are more visually appealing and relatively easy to maintain. Brick mortar has weak tensile strength, which makes it susceptible to cracking due to changes in exterior air temperature. Those who enjoy building fires year after year might prefer a masonry fireplace and chimney.

How can I tell if my Chimney Fireplace is Masonry

You cannot simply aim your stovepipe out the window or through the roof. I can only imagine the expression on the other end of the phone as some are not sure. In the picture to the right it appears to be the same siding with brick chimney, at least until you look to the top.

Most brick chimneys have flue liners sticking out the top like this. Even though it was built in a factory, this is still considered a masonry fireplace. Today’s factory built-fireplaces can emulate the look of an old style fireplace so convincingly that some homeowners can hardly tell the difference. As the name implies, they are made out of natural stone, cement blocks or brick and mortar. While most factory built fireplaces require ventilation, their ventilation systems are less cumbersome than a chimney. Please read on to learn how to make your fireplace both safer and more enjoyable. A masonry fireplace has a firebox built of individual generally yellowish firebrick, a brick chimney above the roof, and if you look up past the damper you will see a roughly pyramid shaped affair also built of brick.

Although similar, there are some important differences which we discuss below.
Inside the firebox, where the facing material meets the firebrick, is one weak spot where this settling often first appears.

Fire Rock masonry fireplace and masonry chimney shown with bricking flange used for brick or rock chimney above the roof line.The Difference Between Fireplaces and Fireplace Inserts – Masonry Fireplace Vs PrefabCe2W7iWGtXS8wX_jbq4BQ

Each type of chimney has several benefits and drawbacks that homeowners should be aware of regarding potential repairs.
These systems are less prone to leakage but a damaged chimney chase cover or deteriorated sealant around chimney lining pipes and storm collars can cause leaks.

Damaged chimney flashing can cause leaks in the ceiling near the fireplace. If your house has siding, either wood, hardyplank or vinyl that extends up the chimney as well, you most likely have a prefab fireplace.

There can be different styles of prefab caps some are square and black like this one. Woodburning and gas burning fireplaces. If you install your factory-built fireplace with the appropriate chimney (usually detailed in the owner’s manual or purchased as one set), you will ensure that your system works safely.

Regardless of the thickness of the frame, consider adding a chimney liner to support and protect your chimney.
There are three main types of liners: clay tile, metal, and cast-in-place. Clay tiles are inexpensive, but they do not withstand the rapid temperature changes in a chimney as well as other materials.  Whether you are building or remodeling, you have the option to decide between a traditional masonry fireplace or factory-built fireplace.
Traditional masonry fireplaces are integrated into the architecture of a house. Since they are an integral part of a house, they must meet local building, engineering and municipal codes. While a traditional fireplace hardly produces enough heat to warmup one room, a prefabricated fireplace can produce enough heat to zone-heat an entire floor depending on the model that you choose.

Whereas repairing or replacing a factory-built fireplace may only cost you only a fraction of a masonry one. When folks talk about a “fireplace” they generally mean an open fireplace. These are perfectly safe when installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Either gas or wood, it’s a stove which is inserted into an open fireplace.
A fireplace insert must always be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and listings or you’ll put your house in serious jeopardy. Insist on knowing that any insert you buy is listed for installation into your fireplace.
Although masonry is quite durable, and in fact is often seen as indestructible, this is not the case, especially for chimneys. A quality chimney cover, keeping the crown in good repair, and a waterproofing treatment, are great ways to avoid expensive repairs or rebuilding.

The firebrick can take the heat pretty well, but over time the joints will fail from the constant expansion and contraction. In a fireplace without a chimney cover, the rain water will pool on the smoke shelf, mix with the soot behind the damper, and form an acidic slurry that can destroy the mortar joints.

One good chimney fire will usually crack these tiles, rendering them ineffective. Conventional doors made for masonry fireplaces would potentially block this necessary airflow. My question is this: could we simply put a steel liner in the firebox?

Knowing to just close the fool thing up and go with decorative “fire” only means the matter is closed for the foreseeable future. Anyway, there is a gas line in the firebox and it had ceramic wood piled in there. I think it is more than just a starter….there is a metal tray that the ceramic logs were sitting in. I kind if want a more definitive answer than “should”. I am aware that some people have had gas starters in wood fireplaces in the past, but not anymore.

Firerock Pre Engineered Masonry Fireplace

FireRock manufactures the most advanced masonry fireplace system available and costs 50-70% less than traditionally …

Category: General Masonry, Bricks Installing, Chimney, Masonry Fireplace, Masonry Repair
Tags: ,

Leave a Reply