Buying a house? What about the chimney?

The list of inspections is endless and each one has the potential to open a nasty can of worms. (Termite letters, Home Inspections, Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC, Radon, etc.)

Why isn’t inspecting the chimney on that list? Ask anyone who assumed that their “new” long awaited fireplace is user ready only to find out long after the closing that (because of age, damage or just plain bad construction), it will require an additional large investment to be usable. They’ll say it should be….for sure!

RECOMMENDATION:

Get the chimney its own inspection by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep – BEFORE signing on the dotted line.

  • Some issues that are revealed by a thorough inspection may be normal wear and tear or maintenance. These type things may not have a real bearing on the purchase of the house. No house is perfect and no chimney is perfect.
  • On the other hand, there may be serious damage or construction flaws that will be expensive to remedy. Better to know this before committing to buying the house with the fireplace of your dreams, only to have your dreams turn into nightmares.

Things you’ll want to find out…

  • Is it dirty? You can’t really tell whether a chimney has problems if it’s dirty. Go ahead; get it cleaned, so the surface of the flue can be inspected properly.
  • If it’s masonry built
    • Is the liner the right size for the fireplace opening?
    • Is the chimney tall enough?
    • Is the liner installed properly?
    • Has it ever had a wood stove installed in the fireplace or attached to the chimney? If so, a closer look is merited.
    • Is the liner broken?
  • If its manufactured prefabricated
    • Are all the pieces there?
    • Are all the pieces put together correctly?
    • Are there pieces that are not supposed to be there?
    • Is the chase cover rusted?
    • Has it been damaged or modified? Modifications can make it unsafe to use.
    • Does it have gas logs? Or a gas starter?
    • What happens if it has gas installed and it’s not supposed to? Yes, there are prefab fireplaces that are not supposed to have gas appliances installed in them.
  • Can it be used in its present condition?
  • If it cannot be used as it sits, what options are there for making it usable?

Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps | Bless Your Hearth has the expertise to inspect your chimney and let you know what is so about it. They are capable and qualified to make suggestions for resolutions and/or repair most any issue that may be revealed during the service.

By Renee Brigman | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment