SweepMasters Professional Chimney Services - Your Northern Virginia Chimney Sweep Specialists

Refractory Panels

Refractory Panel Replacement

Pre-Fab fireplaces are different from masonry fireplaces in that they are not made of brick and mortar. Instead, they are pre-fabricated in a factory out of very thin sheet metal and refractory cement panels. These fireplaces are also known as "Zero Clearance" fireplaces because there's very little "clearance" between the flammable 2X4's and the metal box. If you were to light a fire in this box with damaged or missing refractory panels, the metal could get overly hot and warp, thus permanently damaging the fireplace itself, or worse yet, the intense heat could transfer onto the nearby flammable 2X4 studs, which could catch on fire. To keep this from happening, Pre-Fab fireplaces have refractory cement insulating panels in the box which keep the metal cooler. Like any other household appliance, with use, these panels eventually wear out. The panels can develop cracks, and/or chips, fragments, or flakes of cement can break off (known as spalling). When this occurs, the damaged panels need to be replaced by a qualified professional.

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