A Fireside Chat

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Interior, Problems
Tags: , , , , ,

Not quite as bad as this, but almost!

We love the look of our direct-vent gas fireplace.  Even though it’s not used very often, it’s a nice design feature, and it gives Santa Claus a way into the house at Christmas time.

One thing we absolutely hate about our fireplace is the Arctic draft that blows in during the winter, and the musty, damp smell that wafts in during the warmer and wetter months the rest of the year.

On a lark, we had a fireplace installer come take a look at it to see if there was something that could be done.  Without hesitation, he told us he suspected the culprit was a lack of insulation around the fire box.  Sure enough, a quick inspection of the structure revealed zero insulation.  Somewhere, the Pink Panther weeps.

To properly fix the issue requires the backside of the fireplace enclosure to be removed, and insulation to be installed.  Doesn’t sound too bad, but when you consider this requires removing the vinyl siding, cutting the plywood sheathing, and then replacing it all afterwards, the total bill is in the $600 range.  And since we had this checked out after our 12 month walk-through, it doesn’t fall under our warranty.

What gets us the most, however, is not the bill, but the fact that a quick search on the internet reveals that insulating the area around a gas fireplace is crucial for maintaining a proper thermal break.  In fact, that same search would have revealed a thorough explanation of what to insulate and how.  So how come Unmistakably Premier Homes’ workers or subs didn’t know?

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