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.