WHEN SHOULD YOU RECOMMEND A CHIMNEY INSPECTION?

By
Home Inspector with Chimney Check Professionals

The short answer is that you should recommend a chimney inspection every time.However, there are a few specific items you can look for that should prompt a chimney inspection:

A missing spark arrester. This is needed for fire safety and may be indicative of other issues. If a proper spark arrester is present it may be seen at the very top of the chimney.

Exterior cracking. This can mean need for minor repairs or possibly a more serious condition could exist.

Gaps where the chimney meets the house means the chimney structure has shifted and may need to be stabilized or it may be damaged.

If the chimney looks short or odd in relation to the house an evaluation is needed. A chimney should rise significantly above the roof & should have straight lines.

THIS CHIMNEY IS QUITE DAMAGED AND LOOKS VISIBLY ODD.

Staining above the fireplace opening can indicate building too large of a fire or indicate that the chimney is improperly venting smoke.

Cracking inside or around the fireplace opening can be a matter of minor patching or can be an indication of earthquake or settlement damage.

If the fireplace has never been used it may not function properly. Deterioration and damage can occur regardless of use.

Has the Chimney been repaired? Many chimney repairs performed from the 1994 Earthquake to the present have not been properly executed and may present a fire hazard.

Newer fireplace systems may be improperly constructed. Only an unbiased inspection can determine whether a new system has been properly constructed. We have found in some cases that even systems that were approved by the city were not functioning properly. A city inspector is not the same thing as a chimney inspector.

THIS IS A BRAND NEW SYSTEM THAT WAS INSPECTED AND THE FIREPLACE WAS FOUND TO HAVE BEEN IMPROPERLY INSTALLED WHICH VOIDED THE WARRANTY.

A neglected, dirty fireplace system can have hidden fire safety issues that can only be discovered with a video camera inspection.

-John LeBaron, Chimney Check Professionals

Call us for a complete fireplace & Chimney Inspection to protect your cleints and yourself! (818) 951-7550

www.ChimneyCheck.com

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. John LaRocca 02/03/2009 11:04 AM
Groups:
Ask the Home Inspector
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Southern California Real Estate Forum
LA Connection
Ask the Chimney Inspector
Tags:
inspection
repair
system
fireplace
structure
chimney
stain
dirty
spark arrestor
crack safety

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Rainmaker
426,131
Bob Willis
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Orange, CA
Orange County & L.A. County Real Estate Agent

Hi John,

Do you inspect chimneys in Whittier?

Feb 03, 2009 06:18 AM #1
Rainer
3,852
John LeBaron
Chimney Check Professionals - La Crescenta, CA

Hi Bob,

Yes I do inspect chimneys in the Whittier area.

I am a professional chimney inspector that does not perform or Sell repairs

I give an honest and thorough evaluation of the system.  My report can be relied upon in that it is based on codes and fire safety standards.  You can call my office to schedule an inspection or ask questions (818) 951-7550.

Best,

John LeBaron

Feb 03, 2009 06:39 AM #2
Rainmaker
30,984
John LaRocca
LaRocca Inspections - Burbank, CA

Great blog John, I plan on reblogging it. Your items are spot on. I think that a realtor should always recommend a video chimney inspection if there is a chimney on the property because you can't see inside of the flue with the naked eye.

Feb 03, 2009 11:01 AM #3
Rainer
3,852
John LeBaron
Chimney Check Professionals - La Crescenta, CA

Thanks Mr. LaRocca

You must havea  lot of experience as a General Inspector.

Feb 03, 2009 06:44 PM #4
Rainmaker
84,472
Simon Mills
Mills Realty - Toluca Lake, CA

Considering John, who is a very well respected inspector, said the information was great I am very impressed.  Keep up the infomative posts.

Feb 04, 2009 01:38 AM #5
Rainer
9,056
Dawn Helena Anderson
Coldwell Banker - Quality Properties - Porter Ranch, CA
Realtor Since 1998

Hello John,

Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that I had a client that used your services approximately 3 years ago in the Lakeview Terrace are.  If I remember right it was a condo and you did find tiny pinhole sized holes with your camera.  We wouldn't of expected it due to it being a townhome and everything else was well maintained.    Good to see you are well.

Thank you for the great information.

Feb 04, 2009 07:55 AM #6
Rainer
3,852
John LeBaron
Chimney Check Professionals - La Crescenta, CA

Hi Dawn,

Your memory is excellent.  Yes, that was about the time that I first discovered those particular holes which are fairly common for that brand, Temco.  It is a defect in the product and I alerted the manufacturer (or actually the company that purcahased the name) and they require replacement of the component or repair.

I have seen quite a few of those since them.

Good to hear from you.

 

John LeBaron

Chimney Check Pros  818-951-7550

Feb 04, 2009 11:28 AM #7
Rainmaker
138,841
Ana Connell
G & C Properties - Burbank, CA
Burbank Real Estate Agent

Good post John!  Thank you for inviting me into the group.

I think I used you about 1 1/2 years ago on a Burbank property?

Feb 05, 2009 04:33 AM #8
Rainer
334,174
Paul Gapski
Berkshire Hathaway / Prudential Ca Realty - El Cajon, CA
619-504-8999,#1 Resource SD Relo

Thank you for sharing your blog; we need Real estate Professionals to share their comments and information regarding their markets and experiences. Thanks again from beautiful Sunny San Diego

Sep 17, 2012 06:35 AM #9
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Rainer
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John LeBaron

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