Chimneys may be used to heat the home in the winter or to create a romantic and cozy mood. Like any other element of your home, the chimney can fall into disrepair due to neglect, age, weather damage, or a blockage inside the flue. Performing a chimney inspection allows you to examine the state of your chimney and discover any potential problems that should be fixed before placing it into use. Here are several areas to have inspected.
The chimney is made out of stacked masonry that can place an enormous amount of stress load on the foundation. If the foundation is damaged, it could cause the entire chimney to lean and possibly collapse. Looking for cracks or uneven soil along the foundation can indicate a serious problem.
The wall of the chimney offers structural support as well as thermal performance. It can also help to create a draft to force the smoke or flue gases up out of the home.
The chimney cap is located outside at the very top. It helps to keep the space between the flue liner and chimney wall closed off. It also prevents the rain and snow from entering the flue.
Flue linings are designed to protect the interior of the chimney to prevent combustion, corrosion, and heat. The flue may be made out of ceramic, metal, or clay. There should be a half inch space between the masonry surround and the flue.
Embedded into the chimney flue lining wall is a thimble. This thimble is a sleeve that accepts the flue connector.
Firestops made out of sheet metal are used when the chimney passes through several floors of the home.
Chimney Inspection Levels
Wood-burning fireplaces or wood stoves undergo a wood energy technology transfer inspection (WETT). There are three levels to these inspections.
- WETT Inspection Level I: Visual inspection of accessible components without the use of tools to check for fire-code compliance and any obstructions.
- WETT Inspection Level II: Comprises of level I inspection methods while also using tools such as chimscan camera. The flue and fire box undergo inspection.
- WETT Inspection Level III: If the prior two inspection levels raise a concern about a hidden problem, a level 3 inspection using more invasive methods is performed. This inspection involves disassembling components or cutting into the chimney to make openings to evaluate inaccessible areas.
If you are in need of a chimney inspection or repair services, get in touch with the contractors at Brandstetter’s KangaRoof.