Friendly, explained what he was testing, what we would want to see and what we want and need to consider doing.
Frequent Chimney Defects Problems, Unsafe Conditions
1. Chimney cap and crown effects: Missing chimney cap, damaged chimney crown or top seal, leaks into the chimney leading to rust damage on metal flues or frost and water damage to masonry flues, leading to an unsafe chimney.
2. Creosote or heavy soot in chimneys: A possible chimney fire hazard, especially with a wood-burning fireplaces or woodstoves flues.
3. Chimney thimble ports abandoned or hidden: Covered –over by drywall, wallpaper, or simple metal “pie-plate” enclosure-a fire and flue gas leakage hazard.
4. Cleaning: Chimney has not been cleaned for a protracted time; ricks are greater for oil-fired equipment and for fireplaces and woodstoves.
5. Damaged, blocked or unsafe chimney flues: A damaged chimney flue risks leaking dangerous combustion gases into the building or risks sparks which could start a building fire. Movement and cracks in a masonry chimney, rusted metal flues, unlined single-brick wythe flues, water leaks through chimneys, frost damaged chimney clay flue tiles, missing or open chimney cleanouts, dead-end flues are examples.
6. Dead end flues: A chimney that is entered by a flue vent from a heating appliance, woodstove, or similar devise right into the very bottom of the chimney flue. Common in older homes, such flues are easily blocked by falling debris- an unsafe condition.
7. Fireplace inserts for wood or coal installed into an existing masonry flue: A chimney inspection should be done.
8. Inspection: Chimney has not been inspected for safety or cleanliness for some protracted interval.
9. Missing chimney cleanout doors: Open cleanout doors: a fire hazard as well as a cause of improper, unsafe heating appliance operation.
10. Movement in chimneys: Especially masonry chimneys: a dangerous condition, movement can cause hidden cracks and breaks that make a chimney unsafe, risking flue sag leakage into the interior or causing a building fire.
11. Orphaned gas-fired water heaters: Not venting into any chimney, or gas-fired water heater venting alone into a large masonry flue is very dangerous. The water heater may never develop sufficient heat in the old masonry flue to establish a working draft-flue gases spill backwards into the building, an unsafe condition.
12. Rusted or damaged chimney or fireplace components: Rusted, damaged, inoperative or missing fireplace dampers. Examples include a damper that has rusted through, a metal damper enclosure in the chimney throat rusted through, a metal fireplace insert rusted out at the chimney base.
13. Unlined chimney flues in single-brick wythe chimneys: This is common in older homes which could cause a fire and flue gas leakage hazard.
14. Un-sealed flue-vent connectors at chimney: Metal flues not sealed in the thimble, missing thimble, risking flue gas leaks or sparks; common at woodstove and heating system metal flue connections into a masonry chimney.
15. Unsafe fire clearances: Between metal flues or other types of chimneys and nearby combustibles.