Ever wonder what happens in different types of inspections? Yes, inspections look for flaws in the structure. There are two types for chimneys that look at each component in depth. At Allstar, our two types of inspections are exterior and interior. With having these inspections, especially after a natural disaster like hurricanes, insurance may or may not cover it. Best to read below for more information.
- We will check the height of the chimney, to make sure that it is the minimum proper distance from the roof penetration. This is necessary for proper draft.
- We inspect the chimney cap or spark arrestor if one is present. Chimney caps are vital to keeping out the elements, and small animals that would otherwise enter your chimney.
- We check the crown for cracks, and to make sure its shedding water correctly.
- The brickwork and mortar are inspected for cracks and damages. Cracks in the mortar are a common cause of water leaks.
- We will check the flashing that seals the chimney to the roof if the chimney is connected to, or penetrates through the roof.
- The flue liner is checked for cracks, stability, and support.
- The chimney is checked for moisture resistance.
- The Smoke Chamber/Smoke Shelf is first on our list of things to check inside the fireplace. Prefab fireplace, may or may not have a smoke chamber.
- Next is the damper, in a chimney flue, a damper closes off the flue to keep the weather (and birds and other animals) out and warm or cool air in. This is usually done in the summer, but also sometimes in the winter between uses. In some cases, the damper may also be partly closed to help control the rate of combustion. The damper may be accessible only by reaching up into the fireplace by hand or with a wood poker, or sometimes by a lever or knob that sticks down or out. We will check to see if your damper is working properly.
- Firebox/Grate, We check for rust or any popped rivets in the firebox, and to make sure the grate is in serviceable condition.
- Ash Container- ashes should be stored in a sealed metal container.
- Spark Screen/Doors, if your fireplace has a spark screen, or glass doors, we check to make sure they are properly installed and functioning as they should.
- Tools & Gloves
- Refractories- these are the floor, back, and sides of your fireplace. The materials for refractories include; masonry units, ceramics, and metal plates.
- Profile: is the joint between the firebox and the veneer into the living space.
Should I inspect my own chimney?
If you are asking yourself whether a DIY inspection is a good idea or not, then you are in the right place. The short answer is you could inspect your own chimney, but the more important question to ask yourself is: Should I inspect my own chimney?
Chimney maintenance is possible for the DIYer, or Do It Yourself Enthusiast, a complete chimney inspection and cleaning should be performed at least once a year by a chimney technician.
There are many safety concerns you need to consider before DIYing your chimney inspection.
- Protect your home with floor covering tarps.
- Must have proper equipment.
- Document the chimney’s condition.
- Can be exposed to hazardous materials like soot, creosote and harmful fumes.
- And it can be extremely dangerous climbing on a roof without the appropriate fall protection, ladders and equipment.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Chimney Repairs?
While all homeowners insurance varies, it should cover chimney repairs if a covered peril caused the damage. The chimney is considered part of the home’s structure, so its coverage mirrors your dwelling’s coverage. It does not cover maintenance or other uncovered perils. Best to call your insurance company to know what they will cover based on your insurance plan.
Do Cleaning Logs Really Work?
Many homeowners wonder if the chimney sweep logs or creosote sweeping logs really work to clean out fireplace flues and get rid of creosote residue so that the fireplaces are safe to use. The short answer is no, they don’t work. At least not well enough to completely clean out the flue the way it should be cleaned.