The home-buying season is nearly here. Many homebuyers list fireplaces as a top amenity for purchasing a home. However, there are a few things you should know before buying a home with a chimney.
You Will Need a Separate Chimney Inspector
A home inspection is standard operating procedure during the sale of a home. However, most home inspectors aren’t trained to completely evaluate a chimney system. That’s why the Chimney Safety Institute of America calls for a Level 2 chimney inspections during the sale of a home. During a Level 2 inspection, your chimney sweep will visually inspect the fireplace and the portions of the chimney that are accessible via the roof, attic and crawlspace areas. A specialized camera will be inserted up the chimney to check the condition of the chimney flue and look for blockages. A chimney inspection validates that the chimney and fireplace are safe for use and constructed or installed according to building codes.
Your Chimney Will Require Annual Cleaning and Maintenance
Your chimney and fireplace or heating stove will require an annual sweeping and inspection by a certified chimney sweep. That cleaning will keep the chimney clear from flammable or corrosive debris and ensure that the chimney is free from blockages or damages that could put your home in danger. An annual sweeping and inspection is required for any chimney-vented appliances, whether it burns wood, pellets, gas or oil. Cleanings and inspections are performed between each fire-burning season, typically after the appliance has finished the season in the spring or before the season begins in the fall.
You Will Need to Learn How to Use and Maintain Your Appliance
All hearth appliances are different. You will need how to learn and maintain your appliance. That means understanding which types of fuels to burn in the appliance and how to use any dampers. In addition, you must know how to use any controls that are unique to your appliance and how to maintain your appliance between your annual sweeping and inspection. As the previous homeowner for any manuals that might go with the hearth appliance. If there is none, your chimney sweep should be able to advise you its safe use.
You Will Need to Equip Your Home for Fire Safety
All homes must have fire safety tools, especially when you have a fireplace or heating stove. You should have a fire extinguisher on each level of your home and know how to use it. You should also outfit each floor of your home and all sleeping areas with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. In addition, you will need to inspect those detectors and change batteries regularly to ensure that they’re working.
If you’ve never owned a home with a fireplace or chimney, it can seem an intimidating prospect. Fortunately, chimney professionals help homeowners with the safe care and operation of their hearth appliances. If you’re purchasing a home with a chimney, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to schedule an inspection today!