You May Need a Chimney Inspection!

When buying a house with a fireplace many times banks will ask to have the fireplace inspected. Most inspections are done by a home inspector, however, when it comes to fireplaces, home inspectors are not fully trained and only look for obvious problems. But before you do anything you may want to first find out what kind of fireplace it is. When most people hear the word fireplace they automatically think of a wood-burning fireplace, since it is the most traditional type. But there are more than just wood-burning fireplaces and It is important to know what kind so you can educate yourself on how much maintenance it’s going to need. There are maintenance requirements that fireplace owners need to understand. Even if you do not plan to use the fireplace, or even not use it very much, your fireplace is a part of your home and it can be directly affected by not maintaining it. Fireplaces can cause leaks into your home and destroy ceilings, rot wood, and cause problems with your roof. This is why it is important to have it at least inspected on a yearly basis. Wood fireplaces probably require the most maintenance as they are made with brick and mortar, and some are very old. A gas fireplace is much more modern and requires a little less maintenance and requires different maintenance from wood.  Ventless fireplaces have different maintenance from vented gas. An electric fireplace is a very low maintenance. They have no real flame, or venting system and do not require cleaning like the other types.

Secondly, you should find out about its usage, when you know how the previous owner cared for their fireplace. You will have some idea as to when you should have it cleaned and inspected. If the homeowner used the fireplace often and did not keep up with proper maintenance, there is a chance that it already has creosote build-up and may need some repairs due to masonry damage. As well as a chance of a chimney fire. The same can be said if the owner has never used it, as a matter of fact, a fireplace that has never been used may be in need of more maintenance than one that is only used once in a while. If a fireplace goes unused and hasn’t had any cleaning or inspections it could be riddled with, animals taking up residence in it leaving behind feces that can cause health issues, also it can collect debris like sticks and leaves, It could have leaks and cracks it could even be missing a cap which would allow rain into the flue, and rust the damper.  Basically, you want to be sure you understand the type and condition of the fireplace. You may want a wood-burning traditional fireplace, only to find out it has a gas or electric unit, which could be very disappointing. You should also have an inspection done by a professional chimney specialist, they can tell you how much repairs will cost should they be needed and what condition the fireplace is in. This can give you a more informed decision on whether or not this house is right for you.