Between searching for your dream home, making an offer and performing a home inspection, buying a new home can be extremely stressful. While most believe that a home inspection will cover everything there is to know about their new home, there is one area that a home inspector does not evaluate that could be hiding thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs: the interior of the chimney system.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), home inspection guidelines do not require the home inspector to:
- inspect the flue or vent system
- determine the appropriateness of any installation
- perform a National Fire Protection Associate (NFPA)– style inspection
- perform a Phase I fireplace and chimney inspection
What does all of this mean for a new home buyer?
If there are issues with the chimney liner system, repairing or replacing the liner can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000. The amount depends on the extent of the damage and the type of liner installed.
Potential safety hazards
If there are any gaps, cracks or other signs of deterioration present in the chimney system, operating the fireplace could allow smoke, heat & carbon monoxide to reach areas of the home in which they are not intended to enter. This could lead to:
- smoke damage/inhalation
- potential carbon monoxide poisoning
- a potential house fire if the surrounding structure is exposed to high heat over an extended period of time
What can be done to ensure that no mistakes are made during the home inspection process?
Hire a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep
Most CSIA certified sweeps use advanced scanning equipment, including cameras that rotate 360 degrees. This allows technicians to see every inch of the system, document their findings, and come up with the right solutions. If damage is found before closing, you may be able to use the inspection report, picture report & repair estimate to negotiate the price of the home down, or forgo the sale altogether.
Have more questions? Contact us Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM. We are more than happy to assist with your chimney needs!