What Type of Chimney Do I Have?

While there are many different hearth heating appliance options for fireplaces, chimneys are only available in two types: masonry and prefabricated. If you are not sure which one you have, take a look in your firebox. You will see yellowish firebricks if you have a masonry chimney. If your firebox is constructed from refractory metal, you have a prefabricated chimney. All Seasons Chimney has over 25 years of experience working on both types of chimneys. We would like to tell you more about the differences between masonry and prefabricated chimneys.

Masonry Chimneysprefabricated chimney on metal roof

When you picture a chimney in your mind, it is probably a masonry chimney. These are durable enough to last a lifetime, if well maintained. This type of chimney is a massive structure that could weigh as much as six to seven tons. Because of the weight, a masonry chimney requires a sturdy foundation. Without it, the chimney could shift, crumble, and crack. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), any gaps in the chimney structure from this type of settlement could allow heat transferring to combustible parts of your home and ignite an accidental fire, so you should keep a watch for any movement or shifting to avoid fire hazards.

To prolong the life of your masonry chimney, you should have it swept and inspected at least once a year by a chimney professional who has been trained and certified by the CSIA.

Prefabricated Chimneys

Also known as factory-built, prefabricated (prefab) chimneys have grown in popularity since they were introduced several decades ago. Since this type of chimney does not require as much professional labor to be built, you will find prefab chimneys in many newer homes. Typically made from metal, prefab chimneys are manufactured to be installed with a specific fireplace as a complete unit. Most prefab chimneys have a chase built around the metal pipe to have a greater resemblance to masonry chimneys. Tested and listed as decorative heating appliances, this type of chimney cannot withstand heavy usage.

Although you may have heard that prefab chimneys are dangerous, they are very safe when installed and operated properly. If you notice any cracks or gaps in the metal firebox, you should contact All Seasons Chimney to schedule an appointment for our professional firebox repair services.

No matter which type of chimney you may have in your home, you can count on All Seasons Chimney to take care of it properly. Contact us at our office to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney maintenance services.