This time of year, you might be in the process of either selling your home, or getting ready to purchase a new home. Then you would be aware a home inspection is needed to check all major areas like foundation, plumbing, heating and cooling. But what about a chimney inspection? Before you decide to call that home inspector, there are some key things every Kansas City homeowner should be aware of.
What is the purpose of a home inspection?
An American Society of Home Inspectors (www.ashi.com) professional will perform a visual inspection and then with their findings, produce a written report of the condition of residential properties for either you, the buyer, or you, the seller. The purpose of such an inspection is to describe any major defects observed that would require repairs. In most states, law regulates home inspectors and their standards of practice. You can find the minimum scope of an inspection and report available at www.ashi.com/pubs/standards.html. The home inspection, in short, is a list of recommendations for further evaluations by licensed trades persons in those area of concerns. For example, when you go to the doctor and he says, "The mole on your arm is now raised, I recommend seeing a dermatologist to check into this," he gives you a general concern, but recommends you have it fully evaluated by a specialist in that specific field of work. Same for the home inspector. This is where we come in!
What will a home inspector check for around the chimney?
After researching the guidelines and standards of Kansas and Missouri home inspectors, they mainly only inspect accessible areas that are exposed to view. They are in no way required to climb on top of the roof for inspection or remove chimney caps. ASHI Standard 9.3.D.1 does in fact say, "The inspector is NOT required to observe the interior of the chimney
flue." What you need to know is that most problems observed on the exterior of a chimney are results of issues occurring internally. This is when it is your job to read the details of the report very carefully and closely to see the recommendations provided about servicing your chimney. Home inspectors rarely have any special training. Again, this is where we come in!
The Fluesbrothers Detailed Chimney Inspection
Anytime you are preparing to buy or sell a home with a combustion appliance, whether a furnace, fireplace, or wood stove, it is highly recommended to have a detailed inspection of the chimney and all venting systems. This will ensure everything is in working order and gives you peace of mind for you and your family's safety. Here at Fluesbrothers, we come out and do a full 80 point visual and video inspection of the flue interior to check for any deterioration or damage. We inspect the hearth, firebox, damper assembly, lintel and smoke chamber. With the internal video scan we check the flue itself to make sure it's structurally sound with no broke flue tiles or voids that are not visible just looking up or down the chimney. After doing all of this, we inspect the outside of the chimney to check the flashing, the mortar work, the brickwork, and the crown areas of the exterior. Any damage noticed or needed repairs we find is all documented on video or with digital photos that we provide for you. Most importantly, all of our work is done by a certified Chimney Safety Institute of America Chimney Sweep. (www.csia.org). We know this can be a stressful time and you have many decisions to make. Take your time, do the research, and get the job done right. Good luck on all your future endeavors!