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Chimney Boilerplate


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Here is mine, feel free to use it if it helps.

Note that the condition of the interior of a chimney often cannot be determined by a visual examination unless the chimney cap is removed and the chimney cleaned. If you have doubts about the condition of the chimney, pipe or liner, full evaluation by a qualified chimney sweep should be considered. I examine the chimney as well as practical without removal of soot or the chimney cap.

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Most chimneys need some repairs. At a minimum I recommend cleaning. Unless the house is new I usually see some cracks, brick deterioration or a cracked crown. I usually include the following:

"The chimney needs some repairs. The internal elements of the Chimney could not be evaluated. These areas are considered "inaccessible" and fall outside the scope of a Visual Home Inspection. The possibility of lining deterioration may exist. Health and safety problems may be present due to concealed conditions. It is strongly advised that the chimney be inspected and that the flue be internally evaluated by a qualified chimney professional prior to closing. Chimney repairs are typically expensive and the cost of the required work should be determined prior to closing."

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A thorough interior examination of the chimney and flue is beyond the scope of a normal home inspection. This report identifies and comments on those items that were able to be inspected. It further identifies those areas that were not readily accessible for inspection such as a complete view of the chimney and flue interior.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and B4U Close Home Inspections, recommend that each chimney receive a Level II inspection each time a residence is sold. I also recommend that this inspection be conducted by a chimney sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) (www.csia.org).

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I don't have boilerplate for chimneys. I also very rarely defer to a chimney sweep. Around here, many take every opportunity to sell major repairs or complete rebuilds when it is absolutely unnecessary. I've also seen their repairs. Many old chimneys become completely useless when inappropriate types of liners are installed.

A majority of the time, I get a pretty good view from the top and the bottom with only minor disassembly. I've also made it a point to learn everything I can about chimneys. There have been many occasions when I have disputed the findings of those "certified" that others are recommending to their clients.

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Hi Bill:

The majority of chimneys around here extend from the roof line by 6'-8' or more. There is just no way to look in from the top. Also, I find that the clean out hasn't been opened in decades and is usually rusted closed.

I always check for proper draft however, not being able to view the insides well makes me a little uneasy.

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Originally posted by homnspector

Hi Terry, Curious to know how you check for proper draft.

I check the hot water heater draft diverter for spillage while it's running on it's own. I watch as it fires off to make sure it doesn't have roll out or a lazy flame. I also check the furnace (older models) the same way. I then like to run both appliances together to check draft. They do make a flue draft gauge that you can inset in the flue (after drilling a hole)however, I have never used these during a home inspection, only when I use to run service.

How do you check em?

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Originally posted by kurt

I was putting the NFPA recommendation into each report, but then.......

Where are the chimney sweeps that have a camera & will do a Level II? There aren't any around here that I can find.

Anyone in Chicago do Level II inspections?

I found one of Dale Feb's people here http://f-i-r-e-service.com/mainframe.html

Chicago, IL 60652

Nick Harbus

A & C Sheet Metal Co.

Tel / 773-737-7303

- Jim in Oregon

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"I'm beginning to think that I'm pretty much permanently stuck in Grasshopper status. This job makes me feel stupid every day."

Kurt, you old pro, I believe you somehow inadvertenly jumped to the fourth and final level of competence..."unconscious competence". Take a step backward and return to the third level, "conscious competence". Thus, you will continue to learn and never again feel stupid. You only feel/felt stupid because, for just a bit o' time, you quit learning.

You're way too smart a guy to quit learning.

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Thanx. It's kinda true, although I'm kinda kidding. It's just that sometimes the more progress I make, the behind'er I seem to get.

I spend about 1 hour on the computer every night just running down the stuff I know I don't know; what makes me scared & feeling stupid is the stuff I'm unaware of, lurking out there waiting to trip me up.

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