To Do Before Selling Your Home: Hire a Chimney Sweep
There are many things to consider and take care of when preparing to sell your home. If you have a fireplace or any type of solid fuel-burning appliance, hiring a chimney sweep for an inspection and cleaning is something that needs to be done. It’s actually a requirement prior to the transfer or sale of property, according to the National Fire Protection Association-211 Code Book. Having your chimney checked and making needed repairs prior to placing your home on the market can possibly help your home sell more quickly, and it could help you avoid potential problems in the process of trying to sell your home.
If there is a delay in having the chimney inspected, the result could be that potential buyers become aware of issues with the home that they may not have otherwise been alerted to. Deterioration in the masonry, for example, could suggest that other problematic issues could arise with the house. By getting an inspection before trying to sell, you can avoid these complications.
Chimney inspections are offered on three levels, and it’s the second level that is required prior to selling a house. The requirements in the first level are included in the second. The following sums up what a chimney technician does in the performance of a Level 2 inspection:
- Each component of the chimney that is easily accessible is carefully examined for signs of damage or deterioration.
- Both the exterior and interior of the chimney are inspected, and the chimney technician is looking for any damage that needs to be repaired in order for the chimney system to be safe and for it to function properly.
- One aspect of the chimney that is checked carefully is the possibility of obstructions, including a significant buildup of creosote and soot in the flue lining.
- If there is even a small crack in the flue, the home is susceptible to house fires. In a Level 2 inspection, a video camera is often used to ensure that there is no deterioration in the flue lining.
- The chimney technician will access the attic and crawlspace to check for any signs that the chimney is damaged; for instance, there could be signs of moisture damage in places that are not easily accessible.
The following are some of the common problems chimney technicians discover during a chimney inspection:
- The distance between a heating system and combustible materials is not sufficient and is therefore not safe.
- When a chimney liner is attached to an appliance such as a wood stove, it is often discovered that the liner is either the wrong size or is not connected properly.
- The chimney flashing does not have the same level of durability as the masonry or the mortar, and it often leaks and causes significant damage before anyone realizes a problem exists.
- An inspection frequently reveals that fireplaces, chimneys, and other fuel-burning heating appliances are not compliant with safety codes. Neglect and deterioration are the most common causes of noncompliance, but sometimes the problem is improper installation.
- Moisture damage is common. In addition to being caused by damaged flashing, moisture damage is often caused by the lack of a chimney cap or a cracked crown.
It can be very dangerous to use a fireplace or wood stove when the chimney is not functioning properly. One potential threat is carbon monoxide poisoning, which is often deadly; the leading cause of death by poisoning is carbon monoxide poisoning. Another danger is that a home could catch fire due to a damaged chimney lining.
Our chimney professionals are qualified to help homeowners identify problems with their chimneys and all fuel-burning heating appliances. Our chimney sweeps are licensed and qualified to perform all three levels of chimney inspections, to help get your home ready to be on the market.