There are some simple checks that an home inspection will find that may show the need for immediate repair before usage.
For example the area between the damper and the back of the fireplace interior wall usually brick or stone should be tight. This area many times is cracked or open for flames to reach into the wall cavities.This is an inexpensive repair, however very dangerous for a chance of a fire. The mortar joints in the fire box should also be tight. The damper should be operational and the mortar around the damper not loose or cracked.
In 1998, there were 18,300 residential fires in the United States originating in chimneys, fireplaces and solid fuel appliances, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. These fires resulted in 160 personal injuries, 40 deaths and $158.2 million in property damage.
Chimneys exist to contain caustic flue gases and exhaust them onward and upward into the atmosphere. The condition of the firebox, smoke chamber, and flue are crucial to ensuring a safe home. Below are a few indicators that you have a problem and need to hire a professional:
Professional home inspectors look for these issues with chimneys everyday. However, even the best inspector will admit that their knowledge on chimneys is limiting compared to that of a Certified Chimney Sweep.
Smart Move Home Inspection LLC