Real Estate Inspections & Your Chimney
Buying a home is a big investment that impacts your daily life. Before you close on a new home, it’s smart to make sure that it’s safe and sound. Standard home inspections often miss problems hiding in the chimney. If your new home has a fireplace or heating stove, an inspection by a certified chimney professional is an important precaution.
What’s the difference between a home inspection and chimney inspection?
A standard home inspection is performed by a licensed home inspector who has general knowledge about chimneys but is not an expert. The inspector will look for obvious signs of damage on the outside of the chimney—like discolored bricks or broken masonry—but they won’t look on the inside.
In contrast, a chimney inspection is performed by a CSIA-certified chimney technician who is a chimney, stove and fireplace expert. The chimney tech will thoroughly inspect the outside and inside of the chimney. They use specialized equipment to look inside for signs of damage caused by a chimney fire, deterioration from water intrusion, or obstructions that could block ventilation. They also make sure that all the interior components—like the damper and flue lining—were installed correctly and are operating properly.
Replacing a bad chimney liner or repairing internal chimney damage can be expensive. If there is an obstruction inside the chimney or cracks in the liner, using your new fireplace could endanger you and your new home. Scheduling a chimney inspection by a CSIA-certified tech during the inspection process is the best way to avoid these extra costs and risks down the road.
What does a chimney inspection include?
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends a Level 2 inspection during the real estate inspection process. Level 2 inspections include:
- A visual inspection of the outside of the chimney for cracks or defects.
- Examination of all accessible fireplace/stove and chimney components: smoke chamber, firebox, damper, stovepipe, chimney cap, and chimney crown.
- Accessing the attic, crawl space and roof to check for hidden problems around the chimney.
- A video scan of the inside of the chimney for signs of damage, defects, or blockages.
After the inspection, you will receive a thorough report of the condition of the chimney system. It will include any signs of big or small damage or defects. If any problems were discovered, it will include a repairment plan recommendation. If your chimney receives a clean bill of health, you can provide this document to your homeowner’s insurance company. Many insurance companies require a report from a certified chimney service for homes with a fireplace or heating stove for full coverage.
How to schedule a real estate chimney inspection?
Search for a CSIA-certified chimney sweep or chimney technician in your area. CSIA-certified chimney sweeps have received extensive training in proper chimney and fireplace construction, care and maintenance. They are the most qualified to spot potential risks and provide you with the best service. Then, set up an appointment with a well-reviewed chimney service for a Level 2 inspection.
If you are buying a home in the Atlanta area with a fireplace or heating stove, give Chimney Solutions a call to set up an inspection! Our CSIA-certified technicians are committed to providing you with the best service.