Home inspectors do not usually inspect chimneys

Chimney cracked crown on inspectionWould you want to buy a home with a fireplace and then burn down your home the first time you burned a fire because you had never gotten the chimney inspected?

There are approximately 15,000 house fires a year caused by fires that start in the chimney.

Most home buyers do not want to spend to have fireplaces and chimneys inspected, but home inspectors do not usually inspect chimneys.  If there are obvious cracks on the outside or in the fireplace, they will note those, but they will not usually get on the roof and look down the chimney, much less put a video camera down it.  Most good inspectors will suggest you have a chimney professional examine the chimney, especially if the home is older or it is a pre-cast Rampart General fireplace which are known to have structural issues. Read more

Cracked Chimneys

Cracked chimney falling apartMost people don’t think about their chimneys and fireplaces.  Often they never even look at the outside of their chimney, or even the inside of their fireplace.

We have even had people tell us that they burn wood in their fireplace all winter, but have never had their chimney cleaned in 25 years.  Creosote (soot) is highly flammable and if the buildup is enough, a house fire may result.  You may think the fire in your fireplace is out, but meanwhile, a fire is going inside your chimney which may spread into your house beams. Read more

Rebuilt Chimney

Here is a recent chimney that we rebuilt! If you need chimney repair, give us a call.

Rebuilt chimney

Rampart General cracked fireplaces

Pictures of Rampart General cracked fireplaces which are beyond repair and need to be torn down.

Rampart General fireplaces

Video of chimney which needs major repairs

This as an example of our video inspections.  We make sure that the homeowner can see it is their property and they can see the issues.  This is an example of a chimney which was allowed to deteriorate and which has substantial cracking both inside and out.  It can be repaired but the repairs are significant.

 

Chimney Reline completed

Rancho Cucamonga after reline completed with two Coatings of heat shield cement and new spark arrest.

 

Chimney cracks inside chimney

Due to the recent earthquakes in Southern California there have been reports of chimney damage. Some of which you might not be aware of. Here is a video of cracks inside a chimney. If you think you might have damage, get your chimney inspected now before winter comes and you can’t use it when you really need to!

 

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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