Spring and summer are the busiest times of year in real estate. Homes are put on the market, and buyers hit the market en masse looking for the perfect new home. If you are in the process of buying a new house with a fireplace or heating stove, an inspection performed by a certified chimney sweep is crucial before you commit to buying a new home.
Why you need an inspection before buying a home
First and foremost, a chimney that is not clean or working properly is a major hazard to your home and your family. A deteriorating chimney, malfunctioning fireplace or dirty chimney or fireplace can ignite a dangerous house fire or cause a buildup of carbon monoxide in your new home. Additionally, chimney and fireplace repairs can cost thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars. It is important to have a chimney inspection before you commit to buying a new home to protect yourself from the expense and frustration of unexpected repairs. While most home inspectors will take a cursory glance at fireplaces and chimneys and look for signs of water damage surrounding them, they do not have the expertise or the equipment to perform a thorough chimney inspection.
What an inspection entail
For home buyers, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association recommend a level 2 chimney inspection performed by a certified chimney sweep. During a level 2 inspection, the chimney sweep checks the general soundness of a chimney structure and makes sure that the chimney is free from blockages. The sweep also inspects all accessible portions of a chimney through attic spaces, crawl spaces and basements. The interior of the chimney is checked for cracks and deterioration, as well as for signs of water or fire damage, with the use of a chimney video camera. The chimney will be inspected for proper building clearances, as joists or other building structures placed too close to a chimney can be a fire hazard. The sweep also will inspect any fireplace gaskets or blowers to make sure they are clean and in good working order.
Once your fireplace and chimney have been cleared through a real estate chimney inspection and you purchase your new home, you will want to schedule a chimney sweeping before you burn your first fire in your new home. Dirty and obstructed fireplaces are the leading cause of chimney fires. Homeowners who are in the process of selling a home often will forego their annual chimney sweeping, or the previous homeowners may never have had their chimney swept because they of infrequent fireplace usage.
If you are in the process of buying a home with a fireplace, call the chimney experts at Fluesbrothers Chimney Service! We perform thorough level 2 chimney inspections so you can be confident that the fireplace you love in your new home is safe and sound.