We understand the purchase of a home is a major investment with many unknowns. While your home inspector will be evaluating the Mechanical and Structural components of your new home, there is something you may want to consider adding on to the general home inspection because your new home has one or more fireplaces. 

That is a Chimney Scan:

 

What is that, you may be thinking?

It is a Chimney Scan! This is an in depth inspection of the fireplace and chimney. Which is recommended by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA 211) on the sale or transfer of a home. However on the sale of the home a limited inspection of your chimney and fireplace is done, during the home inspection. This is not the same as what the NFPA recommends on the sale or transfer of a home. A home inspection is a very limited inspection of it. However we do offer a more detailed, non-destructive, and an in depth inspection which would included the use of a flexible borescope camera to scan the inside of the flue. The inspector would be guiding the camera into and through your chimney system and will be looking for any potential issues with your chimney. During the chimney scan inspection, the inspector will be examining the chimney for cracked or damage to the flue, offsets, or even missing mortar that might allow smoke and other products of combustion to enter the home or damage the fragile chimney, and any other potential concerns. Afterward, your inspector will provide you with an additional comprehensive report detailing your chimney and fireplace condition. 

Things to consider to help you make a decision are:

  • Does your fireplace burn wood?

    • If so we will let you know if it need to be swept.

  • Was the home built prior to any of the larger earthquakes of the 20th Century?

    • The liner or flue maybe disconnected or damaged.  

  • Did you know that homes built in the mid 1960s - early 1990s used precast fireplaces called Rampart General Fireplaces ?

    • Many had internal damage on the insulation plate, cracks in the chimney and structure, and/or damage to the flue lining!

  • Did you notice your fireplace having smoke stains around it?  

  • Does the fireplace have a odor when burning (woodsy smell)

    • Your not supposed to have that happen.

    • In most cases that’s caused by improper venting!

    •  This could potentially be a clog, obstruction, or problem in the flue pipe.

    • Flues can leak products of combustion if a joint or fitting is out of place, not properly seal/installed, or damaged.

  • Metal pipes can corrode and break down over time.

    • This can be due to excessive heat and moisture. 

    • This can allow products of combustion, like carbon monoxide, corrosive gasses, and other harmful bi-products into the home.

 

The National average cost for different repairs are:

  • Minor chimney repairs can cost anywhere from $200 to $700 on average.

    • Fixing flashing​

    • Sealing around the gas pipe

    • Changing a refractory plate

    • Repointing

    • And more.....

  • To sweep the chimney can cost on average $199 - $325

  • More extensive chimney repairs cost $1,500 to $8,500

    • Crown replacement or repairs

    • Parging

    • Firebrick repair/replacement

    • Re-Lining can start around $4,000 and go up from there

    • Even replacing the flue

 

California also tends to be on the higher side of cost with things like repairs too.  While the inspector is at the home for your general home inspection, we could perform this inspection for you as well or send a technician out at a later date. If your interested we can add this testing service to your inspection.