Anyone who has followed my blog and posts on social media already know that this is a big one for me. When my buyers develop an interest in a home that has a fireplace, during our discussions about an offer, I suggest that they have the chimney and flue inspected if it's a wood-burning fireplace. If it's a gas fireplace that vents directly out of the home, they won't need a flue inspection and their property inspector can inspect it without the need to hire a specialist.
But, if it's a wood-burning fireplace, that's a whole different ball game. Think about this. You have a blazing fire located in your home. To me, that means taking every precaution possible to ensure that you can stay safe while it's blazing. But here's the sad fact. Most wood-burning chimney flues aren't safe because there are major openings between the tiles lining the flue. The photo above was from a chimney inspection that was performed recently for a client.
The chimney inspector will show you the video while the camera is ascending the flue and he/she will make recommendations. If there are issues, which I've personally experienced, the inspector will most likely recommend relining the flue. What that means is that all of those tiles lining the flue will be "chipped" off and a steel liner is then dropped in. I'm over-simplifying this process, but the really good news is that the liner they install is guaranteed to last forever. Not a bad guarantee for some safety in your home.
If you live in the DC metro area, a company that I recommend is MCP Chimney in Damascus. You can find them at https://mcpchimneyservices.com/. There's nothing like a roaring fire on a cold winter day/night. Enjoy and be safe!