Why all pre-cast chimneys should be inspected prior to close of escrow

pre-cast chimney on roof

Here is a quote from a property inspection report done  by a property inspection company last week on a home in Lake Forest:

“Pre-cast concrete chimneys were built in factories and then trucked to a site and erected, as distinct from masonry chimneys that are built on site with individual bricks and mortar.  In this respect, pre-cast chimneys are unique.   However, like all masonry chimneys, they are vulnerable to seismic activity, but unlike masonry chimneys they are also subject to cracks that are induced by the interaction of moisture and a chemical additive that causes the reinforcing steel within the chimney to expand and crack  the chimney walls.  Such cracks can be small, but they are nonetheless subject to stringent repair methods.  However, if any crack penetrates the chimney wall it may be difficult to repair the chimney without costly repairs or replacement or possibly relining the chimney. For this reason, we recommend that all pre-cast chimneys be further inspected/video scanned or certified by a specialist before close of escrow.”

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It pays to inspect your fireplace early

Dirty fireplace before repair

It’s recommended that chimney’s are inspected every year. Almost everyone waits until the fall, so it’s difficult for the chimney sweep to service everyone well.

It really makes a lot more sense to do them at the end of the burning season in the event there are any repairs that need to be made before the unit may be put back into operation.

The last thing you want to hear the week before the big holiday party is that there are repairs needed to your fireplace before you can use it.

Buying a Home? Three Reasons to Insist on a Fireplace Inspection

When choosing a home to purchase, today’s home buyers have many important decisions to make. When any home being considered has a fireplace, wood stove, or flue, insisting on a thorough inspection of these features is critical, especially when buyers intend to use these features as a supplemental or emergency heat source. If your are considering the purchase of a home with a fireplace, wood stove, or flue, here are three excellent reasons to get them professionally inspected by a certified inspector first.

1. Fire Safety

Because these features deal with heat and open flames, fire safety is the most important reason to insist upon a thorough inspection. Flues for wood stoves and fireplaces often have buildups of a substance called creosote.

Highly flammable, creosote results when there has been an incomplete combustion of the wood used to make a fire, and is a leading cause of chimney and flue fires. This can happen when the firewood has not been correctly seasoned before use, or when the fire has not received the proper amount of oxygen to allow it to burn hot enough to prevent creosote from forming.  Continue reading

How can a sweep help me to maintain a safe home?

Employing the services of a qualified chimney sweep is essential for maintaining the safety of your home. A professional chimney sweep not only cleans your flue, which can prevent the build-up of hazardous creosote as well as obstruction from nesting animals and debris, but he will inspect your chimney as well. A thorough inspection of your chimney is vital in order to prevent ghastly costs and safety issues that could result from untreated damages that might be lurking in your chimney. Failure to have your chimney swept and inspected by a qualified sweep can result in:chimney-sweeper-158077_640 Continue reading

What is Creosote?

How does it get in the chimney and why is it dangerous?

When you burn wood in your fireplace or wood burning stove, it creates pollutants- often in the form of gases and small particles. The gases are expelled from the burning wood with the smoke. When the gases cool to a temperature that is below 250˚ F, they will begin to liquefy, combine and condense. When they combine and condense they create what is commonly referred to as creosote- a foul smelling corrosive that is extremely combustible. Continue reading