40 Year old home with 3 cracked chimney flues

This is a video of a home in San Juan Capistrano that is approximately 40 years old.  All 3 chimneys had severe cracks and gaps in the chimney flue.  This is a severe fire hazard if the fireplaces are used to burn wood or gas fires.  If you are purchasing a home that was built over 20 years ago, don’t take a chance that the chimney will not have gaps.

Approximately 40% of the homes that were built in the 1980s and earlier have cracks and gaps within the chimney flues.  Regular home inspectors do not inspect the chimneys with a video camera and as a result most of the cracks are not detected.  Approximately 15,000 homes per year in the U.S. have home fires which start in the fireplace/chimney.

Chimney repair

Here is a recent chimney repair we did.

Chimney repair before & after

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!

 

Your chimney and earthquakes

Cracked fireplace earthquake damageToday parts of the San Gabriel Valley, the Inland Empire and Orange County felt a significant earthquake (7.1).  If you have an older masonry chimney and you felt a significant movement of your property, it is usually recommended that you do not use your fireplace until it is inspected with a video camera to make sure there are no hazardous cracks.

If the cracks are small, the cost to fix them is very reasonable.  If they are allowed to get larger with additional earthquakes, or rain coming into your chimney, or if you burn a lot of fires, you could have a house fire, or the chimney could deteriorate to a point where major repairs are needed. Read more