Are you are purchasing a property with a fireplace or heating stove and a chimney? If so, there’s one thing you should know: A home inspection is not the same as a chimney inspection! In fact, a home inspector usually doesn’t give a fireplace or chimney more than cursory glance. So what is the difference between a home inspection and a chimney inspection? Here is what you need to know.
Believe it or not, there is no uniform checklist followed by home inspectors. Their basic charge is to look around a home’s interior and exterior for defects. Certain things that could pose a danger to the home or its inhabitants. While one would think that includes inspecting the fireplace and chimney, it does not. A good home inspector will glance over the fireplace and look for signs of damage or excessive wear. In addition, glance along the chimney and walls for signs of a potential leak. They may switch on a gas fireplace to see if it is functional. What the home inspector won’t do is look inside the fireplace or inside the chimney. He or she will not look for any signs of malfunction or wear-down of parts.
A chimney inspection goes much further than a home inspection. When you are purchasing a property and call in a chimney sweep to look over the fireplace and chimney, he or she will give the entire system a thorough examination. In the case of property transfer, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends a Level 2 chimney inspection. That inspection includes an examination of all internal and external portions of the chimney and fireplace. This includes accessing the chimney from the roof, crawl space, attic and other places that provide better access to the chimney. The chimney sweep will look at the chimney construction to confirm that the chimney has proper clearance from the surrounding home structure. A special chimney camera will be inserted up the flue. This is to check the internal structure and soundness of the chimney.
Are you are purchasing a home with a fireplace or stove and a chimney? Then it is crucial that you have a chimney inspection before you light the first fire in your fireplace! What could happen if you don’t have a chimney inspection? Firstly, you can’t be sure that your fireplace, stove and chimney are safe for use. Even if you don’t intend to use the fireplace, an full chimney inspection is important: A chimney sweep can spot signs of water leaks or deterioration in the chimney. These could cause major damage to your chimney or your home down the road!
At Environmental Chimney Service, we understand the importance of a thorough chimney inspection in keeping your home or property safe. We will gladly provide a Level 2 chimney inspection of your new property. We will make sure that your home-heating appliance and the associate chimney are safe for use and free of damaging leaks. Call to schedule an appointment today!