Fireplace 101 Home Inspection
Inspecting Chimneys & Fireplaces
When your home has a fireplace, you’ve created a fire risk to the safety of you and your family. A fireplace inspection discovers any problems that could spread fire or endanger your home and all of its residents. Your home inspector will thoroughly examine the fireplace and venting system for any obstructions to make sure the entire system will operate without any safety hazards.
Your inspector will visually survey and check:
- The fireplace system components.
- Chimney and vents.
- Spark arrestors
Your home inspector is looking for any structural flaws in the fireplace that could cause smoke and heat leaks, obstructions that could cause smoke damage or potential fire,
Your written report will describe fireplaces and solid burning appliances like a wood burning stove and the condition of the chimney. In addition, if any defects are noted, the report will also contain written recommendations for remediation or repair.
As thorough as this inspection seems, your home inspector is not required to inspect a number of items related to your fireplace and solid fuel burning appliances.
- interiors of flues or chimneys.
- fire screens and doors.
- seals and gaskets.
- automatic fuel feed devices such as the pellet feed to a pellet burning stove.
- mantels and fireplace surrounds
- combustion make-up air devices.
- heat distribution assists (gravity fed and fan assisted).
If, in the course of an inspection, your inspector notices something amiss with any of the above, he will note them in the report and suggest you contact an appropriate service. She will most likely provide local referrals in good standing.
Also, the home inspector is not required to ignite or extinguish fires, determine draft characteristics, or move fireplace inserts and stove or firebox contents.
A thorough and detailed fireplace inspection is an integral component of your home inspection if you have a fireplace or solid fuel burning appliance. Be sure to check out the other 101 introductions for a better understanding of how thorough and professional each aspect of your home inspection is.