If you’re in the home buying market, we’re sure you’ve heard of the need for a thorough home inspection. Back before the market changed, many potential buyers would omit a home inspection from their offer to make it more appealing to the sellers, as fewer contingencies often meant an increased likelihood of that offer being accepted. This was an extremely risky proposition that many homeowners at the time were willing to take to get what they wanted.

Chimney Inspection Before Buying a Home - Asheville NC

Changing Markets

As the housing market has morphed into its current iteration, buyers have more power than previously and can include a home inspection contingency in their offer, thereby providing them with extra piece of mind when closing rolls around. After all, buying a home could be the largest single investment many people will ever make! An inspection professional will look over the place to make sure it’s termite- and flood-damage free. Even though there will always be cosmetic changes to make to a new home, trying to avoid costly repairs upon first moving in it always wise. Being able to save that money for new furniture for your new home (or simply for gas and groceries) is a big deal!

Not So Fast My Friend

Unfortunately for many potential home buyers, they are unaware that the home inspection they demanded may not have caught any potential problems with their prospective home’s fireplace and chimney system. The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (weather and temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof; attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components. Even though chimneys are usually installed by professionals (and could be considered by many to be part of the home’s heating system), this doesn’t mean they’re included in the inspection or always kept in pristine shape.

Spend a Little Now…Save a Lot Later

In an effort to learn about potential issues with your prospective home’s fireplace and/or chimney system, it is best to include having a chimney inspection completed as a contingency in your offer as well (even if you’re willing to pay for it yourself). It’s best to learn about potentially costly repairs before closing on that house of your dreams, otherwise it could easily turn into your worst nightmare…a money pit. Many home inspectors have begun going a step further in their write-ups by recommending that the chimney be cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep. If the customer then chooses not to have it done, they have no cause to complain about the home inspector or the home inspection process itself. These individuals, instead, will be left to point the finger of blame squarely at themselves.

If you’re preparing to buy a home with a combustion appliance (i.e., a furnace, fireplace or woodstove), it’s highly recommended that you obtain a detailed inspection of all chimney and venting systems. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the playing the blame game. If problems with the chimney and/or venting system are found, you can demand that they be taken care of to your satisfaction or simply walk away from the deal altogether. Remember that you and your family will be living in the prospective house and safety should be the first priority! The professionals at Environmental Chimney Service are always here for you. Our goal is to help keep your family safe and, together, we can accomplish that goal.