For many homebuyers, a fireplace is a sought-after amenity that will make any house feel cozier and more inviting. If you’re among the many who will purchase a home with a fireplace this year, there is one thing you should add to your home-buying checklist: A real estate chimney inspection. This vital service will help you ensure that your new fireplace is in good repair and safe to use.
How is a chimney inspection different than a home inspection?
If you’ve undertaken a home inspection, your home inspector likely included some notes on the fireplace and chimney, marking whether or not they seemed to be in good repair. So why would you need a chimney inspection on top of your home inspection? In short, home inspectors are not trained to thoroughly inspect chimneys, and their inspections of chimneys are largely superficial. A home inspector only will look for obvious signs of deterioration or leaks. They also don’t perform a thorough inspection of the chimney flue, where problems often will hide. A certified chimney inspector will provide a thorough examination. The in-depth look catches deficiencies, deterioration or leaks that could cause major problems down the line.
What does a real estate chimney inspection include?
When you call in a certified chimney inspector, they will follow careful guidelines set out for a real estate chimney inspection by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). When a property changes hands, the CSIA calls for a Level 2 chimney inspection. Level 2 inspection , a chimney sweep inspects all of the accessible portions of the chimney and fireplace, including from the rooftop and the firebox, and from any attics, crawl spaces or access panels that provide a view of the chimney. At the end of that inspection, your chimney sweep will insert a specialized closed-circuit camera up the chimney flue to look for damage or problems within the inaccessible portions of the chimney flue.
What types of problems could a real estate inspection turn up?
The thorough real estate inspection detects any significant problems or deficiencies in the chimney. They ensure you are not at risk of a chimney fire, damaging chimney leak, or carbon monoxide exposure. Some of the common problems turned up by a real estate inspection include:
- A missing chimney cap,
- A damaged or deteriorating chimney crown,
- Chimney leaks,
- Damaged caused by an undetected chimney fire,
- An excessive buildup of creosote or debris in the chimney,
- Masonry defects,
- Insufficient chimney lining or damage to the chimney liner, and
- Malfunctioning, damaged or deteriorated fireplace components, such as blowers, gaskets, dampers and doors.
Who can you call for a real estate chimney inspection?
If you’re purchasing a home with a fireplace in the greater Kansas City Area, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to schedule your real estate chimney inspection. One of our certified chimney sweeps can clean your new chimney and provide a thorough inspection to ensure that your new fireplace is safe to enjoy.