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Safety Tips for Your Prefab Fireplace

Prefab Fireplace Change in Baltimore | CompleteChimneys.com

While prefab fireplaces are extensively tested at the factory for safety, they must be installed correctly to be safe in your home. Be sure that replacement parts are made for your specific fireplace, as some prefab fireplaces burn wood while others burn gas or both wood and gas. Factory-built fireplaces have an excellent safety record because they are built to meet strict standards, and they pass rigorous testing standards. However, safe use of these fireplaces is essential. The following safety tips are important to remember when you have a prefabricated fireplace in your home:

  • Never use liquid fire starters like gasoline, charcoal lighter fluid, lantern fuel, or kerosene, Prefab fireplaces are made to burn solid fuel only.
  • Always close the screen on the fireplace to prevent sparks or hot embers from entering your home and possibly causing combustible materials to ignite.
  • Always open the flue damper before you light a fire.
  • Be careful not to overload the fireplace because burning wood might fall out.
  • Refrain from burning Christmas trees or a lot of paper in the fireplace because these types of fires are extremely hot and can cause joints to separate or metal to warp.

Make a prefab fireplace change in Baltimore with the professionals from Complete Chimneys.


The Lifespan of Prefabricated Fireplaces

Factory Built Fireplace Baltimore | CompleteChimneys.com

Many people purchase factory-built fireplace systems because they are a cost-efficient alternative to traditional masonry fireplaces. However, the prefabricated units sometimes have a shorter lifespan than their traditional counterparts, which means they need to be replaced more frequently. At the same time, some factory-built fireplaces are seen more as decorative heating appliances than primary heat sources, which means they are typically used with less frequency. With regular care, upkeep, and maintenance, some of these fireplace systems may last up to 20 years.

Like their masonry counterparts, factory-built fireplaces need to be regularly swept and inspected in order to burn safely and efficiently.  They need repairs and part replacements as necessary. Keep in mind that one of the most common reasons prefabricated units need to be swapped out is because their original replacement parts are no longer available. That’s why installing a new unit is often easier than attempting an after-market repair.

You may also need to replace your factory-built fireplace due to water damage, rusting on the chimney chase cover, or damaged chimney liners. If you need a factory-built fireplace replacement in Baltimore, turn to Complete Chimneys. You should have a chimney professional swap out your prefabricated fireplace in order to be safe and to be sure that your fireplace system is up to date.


What Is a Factory-Built Fireplace?

Prefab Fireplace Change in Baltimore | CompleteChimneys.com

Factory-built or prefabricated fireplaces are designed and manufactured in a factory and arrive at their destinations ready for installation. Typically they are made of metal, with glass doors, air-cooled pipes, and insulated walls. The major advantage for homeowners is that they can be installed at any time before or after a home is remodeled or constructed. Although they do require ventilation, they are easier to ventilate than chimney fireplaces. If you decide to make a prefab fireplace change in Baltimore, you’ll find that they will adhere to the local fire codes. They are constructed in such a way that they can be placed in areas of a home where a masonry fireplace may not be allowed.

The popularity of factory-built or prefab fireplaces is growing exponentially. Complete Chimneys is your go-to source for an effective, affordable, and efficient installation of a prefab fireplace. In addition to their affordability and ease of installation, prefab fireplaces are tested extensively by the manufacturers to ensure their safety. Depending on your taste, you can find a prefab fireplace that burns either wood or gas. They are known for being extremely energy-efficient because of their closed combustion. If you purchase a wood-burning prefabricated fireplace, one load of wood will burn for significantly longer. Also, your monthly utility bill is sure to be smaller because you are using your fireplace as an alternative heat source.

Prepare Your Chimney for Winter

Chimney Contractors in Baltimore | CompleteChimneys.com

You can be sure that winter brings rain, dew, and fog along with occasional snow and ice events. Now is the time to prepare your chimney for winter, which is greatly impacted by all forms of moisture. When the chimney in your home is exposed to moisture, it can change the state and structure of your chimney, especially if the water exposure occurs during a time of extremely high or low temperatures and for a prolonged period of time. Without the proper preparation any of the following may occur as a result of chimney moisture:


Metal plus moisture equals rust. Rust can deteriorate the cap and the flashing on your chimney if not addressed properly by a professional chimney inspector.

Buildup of Creosote

Creosote is a black sludge that can build up inside your chimney flue with increased exposure to moisture. Your chimney should be free of creosote for safety reasons. Over time it can increase the likelihood of a chimney fire.

Damaged Masonry

Moisture can damage a chimney’s brick exterior. If the chimney bricks crack they may fall out, which makes your chimney extremely exposed to moisture. Masonry cracks should be repaired as soon as possible so that small issues don’t turn into high-cost problems.


Chimney leaks are not safe or effective if you want a warm, cozy fire in your fireplace this winter. Make sure there is no water dripping into your chimney or drafty air inside the firebox.

Contact Complete Chimneys, leading chimney contractors in Baltimore to address any leaks or other problems you want repaired before winter.

The Benefits of a Factory-Built Fireplace

Factory-Built Fireplace Replacement in Baltimore

Factory-built fireplaces are extremely popular as a modern option to keeping households warm and comfortable throughout the winter months. They are a good investment because they increase the value of your home. Also, in homes that lack a chimney, homeowners can still enjoy a fire because they don’t need a pre-existing chimney in order to be installed. A factory-built fireplace is designed to be installed either for new construction or for a home that is adding a fireplace. Made up of a firebox inside a steel cabinet, with a steel chimney or flue, you can have a factory-built fireplace installed with very little need for clearance. In fact, these fireplaces are known as “zero-clearance” fireplaces due to their minor safety requirements.  They are made with an insulation air blanket built into the design to keep the outer wall of the fireplace cool, which means they can be safely installed in close proximity to wood framing. Some of the additional benefits of a factory built fireplace include:

  • Affordability
  • Designed with an Entire Chimney System
  • Lifespan of Up to 30 Years
  • Different Styles for Any Décor
  • Flexible Installation Options
  • Efficient Heating

Contact Complete Chimneys to find out more about obtaining a factory-built fireplace replacement in Baltimore.




When Should You Replace Your Prefab Fireplace?

Prefab Fireplace Change in Baltimore

How often do prefab fireplaces need to be replaced? That depends on the condition they are in and how well they have been maintained. However, replacing your prefabricated fireplace is simple when you work with the crew at Complete Chimneys for a prefab fireplace change in Baltimore. A well-maintained prefab fireplace should last up to 30 years, but, unlike brick fireplaces, they don’t last for generations.

As the majority of homeowners want fireplaces in their homes, prefabricated fireplaces are growing in popularity because they are a cost-effective heating option for both new and existing homes. Think of your prefab fireplace as just another appliance that may have a lifespan like other major appliances such as refrigerators or stoves. Depending on how much your prefabricated fireplace system is used the more quickly it will deteriorate. For example, if you use your fireplace every day in the long winter months, it will need replacing much sooner than one that is only used several times a year.

You may need to replace your prefabricated fireplace sooner rather than later if water has come through the chimney. In that case, the water may damage the whole fireplace system and require it to be replaced. Rely on Complete Chimneys to inspect, repair, or replace your prefab fireplace.


Why Does Your Fireplace Smell Bad?

If your fireplace is exuding bad smells you want to have it checked out by professional chimney sweeps in Pasadena, MD. There are a number of reasons bad smells can come from the fireplace that’s designed to provide you with warmth and beauty. Professionals from Complete Chimneys can inspect your fireplace and resolve the issues that are causing the smells.  Some of the most common causes of a smelly fireplace are included in all of the following:

Negative Air Pressure: If you have made any of the following improvements to your home in the summer, the fireplace could have been filled with mild odors that are sealed too tightly to escapes. Those improvements may weatherizing, changing the vents, or installing a new roof.

Excess Creosote and Soot: If the chimney is filled with too much creosote, the buildup may cause bad smells to form.

Moisture: Extra water in your chimney can cause a musty odor. If your chimney doesn’t have a working chimney cap, you may have moisture in the flue that needs repairs.

Animals, Dead or Alive: Any animal nest can be prevented with mesh netting. If there is no protection, an animal can be animal waste or a dead animal. Animals such as raccoons, birds, and snakes are known to nest in chimneys and live in them.

Contact CompleteChimneys.com for an annual chimney cleaning and inspection to be sure that your chimney and fireplace are safe and secure for use this winter.

Common Reasons Causing Chimney Leaks

Protect your home, family, and property by ensuring that your fireplace and chimney system are working properly before winter begins. Any time before winter is the right time to take care of any issues with your chimney. Addressing those issues before you need to use your fireplace prevents future problems. Deal with the small issues now before they turn into major problems. If your chimney is leaking from any of the following problems, you want to have it inspected and repaired when the weather is warm.

The fireplace flashing is cracked or torn. The flashing is the aluminum around the chimney that sticks up from your roof. It bends over the side of the chimney and the shingles. Its job is to keep water from flowing down between the chimney and roof.

Cracks in the mortar joints and bricks.

The mortar and cement that hold the chimney together may crack over time. If they are cracked water can fall inside the chimney and the house. Also, the chimney walls may stay wet after the rain and absorb this water.

Loose knots and cracks in wood siding.

If your house has wood siding knots in the wood may loosen or come off altogether. As well, the wood may get old, dry out, and split, which also lets water into the chimney and the house.

No chimney cover.

If your chimney has no cover, rain, pests, and wildlife can fall inside it. Make sure your chimney cover is working correctly and not letting in leaks.

Cracked chimney crown.

If the chimney crown cracks water seeps in.  If not repaired the water will freeze in cold weather, and it may crack even more from repeated freezing, which makes it even harder to fix.

Contact Complete Chimneys for repairs on your leaking chimney in Maryland. We inspect and solve any problems that are causing your chimney to leak.




Tips for Choosing a Chimney Contractor

Chimney Contractors in Maryland

When you are ready to have your chimney inspected and repaired, you want to choose the chimney contractors in Maryland that best suit your needs. After you have reviewed the contractor’s website and read the reviews, choose a couple that have the best reviews. Good reviews should mention “on-time completion, affordable, quality work.” Once you’ve narrowed down your options you can call the business during regular hours and ask some of the following questions:

  • Is the estimate free?
  • Is the price of the estimate firm?
  • How soon can the work be performed?
  • Does he carry most repair parts in his truck?

On the day of your appointment for the estimate, note if the contractor is on time, and if not, did he let you know he’d be late? Is the contractor’s truck organized with the necessary tools and parts? It’s critical that the contractor examine the chimney from the roof before you get the estimate. When you’ve chosen your contractor make sure you check that your contractor does the necessary preparations and actually does the work you have agreed to pay for.  For example, when a cement repair is needed, the contractor must mix the cement. Also, for a cap repair, make sure a new cap is being used.

How Long Does Chimney Cleaning Take?

Chimney Cleaning Maryland

A typical thorough inspection and cleaning of your chimney should take less than one hour, depending on how dirty the chimney is. While all flues are not the same, when you have the work done by two certified technicians, it should be done effectively and efficiently. If there is a blockage in the chimney, like a bird’s nest, the cleaning may take more time due to the amount of debris that has to be carefully removed. If you suspect there is a blockage in your chimney, let the chimney sweepers know so your service time can be adjusted accordingly. Rely on Complete Chimneys for the most thorough chimney cleaning in Maryland when your chimney flue and smoke chamber must be swept.

Whether you have a masonry fireplace or a wood-stove chimney, in most cases a two-man crew shouldn’t have to spend more than an hour sweeping the chimney in your home. However, a prefabricated fireplace chimney may take even less time, whereas a walk-in fireplace may take as long as two-three hours.

Contact Complete Chimneys at (410) 544-7600 for all of your chimney needs. Our reputable company offers products and services that include all of the following:

  • Chimney Construction
  • Chimney Repair
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Chimney Rebuilding
  • Chimney Liners
  • Chimney Caps
  • New Wood Stoves