Chimney Inspection

Craig Dornak:

There is rust on the chase top. There is rust on the shroud or Texas T-Top, as we call it.

I’m Craig with Lords Chimney. We’re here to do an inspection today on this factory built fireplace. If you notice here this refractory panel, there are some hairline cracks, some slight deterioration going on. Manufacturers will allow a hairline crack in refractory panels, anything larger and they do require them to be replaced. They’re there to protect your metal box from heat, and these have a lifespan. Usually, if they’re well taken care of, they will last the life of your fireplace. If water enters the system, will cause deterioration, things of that nature. Manufacturers will stop making parts after about 15 to 20 years. Once we can no longer find these parts, we do have to discuss replacing the entire fireplace.

All right.

This is more of the inspection. It’s where we put the camera into the flue, looking for disconnected seams, looking for any flaws that could have been from installation. As I’m going up the flue, I’m looking at all the vertical connections here, the vertical seams. I’m making sure everything is connected properly, making sure that there’s no brakes in the seam, making sure that there is no area where heat can escape the system or fresh air can enter the system. As well as carbon monoxide. We don’t want that leaking out into the home at all. So far, after running the camera up through the system, I found no brakes in any seams. Everything’s looking good as far as the interior of the flue goes.

Next, I’ll be heading up into the attic. We found insulation tucked up right next to the flue. You want a gap between any insulation, any framing, any wood that’s there, any combustible material. Next, we are going to head up onto the roof. We’re going to check out the chase or chimney, as a lot of people call it. We’re going to look for rust spots. We’re going to look for anywhere water can pool. Any areas where water can penetrate the home.

There is rust on the chase top. There is rust on the shroud or Texas T-Top as we call it. The wood that the chase is built out of is starting to deteriorate and rot. There is a couple spaces I could actually put my finger into. Flashing that the roof connects to the chase, there’s a couple of spots where I can see rust starting to form. Over time, that will cause issues as well, where if not fixed, if not taken care of, it is a place where water is going to start entering your home over time.

Inspections are important because it lets you know what’s going on with your system. Every day people run fireplaces that are less than stellar. They should really be looked at to make sure all the connections are there, make sure all the seams are properly sealed. Make sure that in a masonry fireplace you don’t have mortar missing, you don’t have broken or cracked flue tiles that allow heat to escape into your home, allow smoke escape into your home, carbon monoxide, things of that nature. A clean is what we do after the inspection. We come in, make sure everything is okay with your system, make sure everything is sealed properly. Then we bring in our vacuum, we bring in our brush, and we clean everything out top to bottom.

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