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First my apologies to Charles Dickens for a not well altered title of his classic book, but a good title as well as a good tome is timeless. Chimneys, specifically brick chimneys are very common on Connecticut houses, as I would imagine they are around this country. Inspecting a chimney requires more than just a look from the ground. So often the problems are hidden by the height and angle. Issues that the best binoculars or cameras will not see. Further it is hard to look at the flue from any other spot than at the top of the chimney.
The other day highlighted two interesting aspects of two different chimneys of two different ages with two distinctly different issues on two different homes. The first chimney was on a beautifully maintained property that I had inspected in March. The buyers had asked me to return and re-inspect repairs done based on the home inspection report by contractors the seller hired. Several repairs were to do with the chimney.
Ascending the two story roof, I made my way to the "repaired" chimney. The chimney crown had been in deteriorated condition back in March, with repairs recommended. To the sellers credit, he commissioned a new crown to be built. Unfortunately he hired a general contractor, not a chimney specialist.
The new crown was very poorly constructed. Numerous cracks were present through out the new mortar, a sure sign of amateur, inexperienced work. The best part was the crown had a very noticeable negative pitch and divot to collect water around the flues. Finally the contractor installed a single chimney cap on the center flue. Notice where the little metal roof will drain some of the water. Directly down the adjacent flue and onto the gas fireplace below.
The second chimney was a small single flue type for the heating and hot water systems in this not so well maintained house. All looked fairly good from the ground, but again ascending the roof, I could see the condition of the crown and flue lining. I think the photo speaks for itself. This chimney will need to be relined and the crown rebuilt.
A side note on the small chimney, the cleanout was under a porch and inaccessible. The only way the damage to the flue liner could have been seen was from above on the roof.
While conditions may appear good from the ground, there is no substitute for an up close and personal encounter to get the hard facts.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.