Monday, April 6, 2009
Chimney Inspections are important on older Sacramento homes!
I spent about an hour today at a property in Carmichael with a Chimney inspector. You probably can't tell in any great detail unless you click on the photo, but this Chimney has sustained damage to the firewall. You might notice some broken bricks, and severe deterioration in the mortar. Just outside the field of view in this photo, is literally a gaping hole where a brick had broken out.
Most buyers would never think to inspect a chimney. I often suggest this inspection, especially when a home is older...highly unlikely that a seller would even be aware these conditions exist to disclose them. This particular property was built in 1952. The bid for corrective work (rebuilding the firewall, repairing the inner hearth brickwork, sealing the crown, and installing a weather cap spark arrestor) was over $1,000. The inspector deemed the fireplace "unsafe for use." Would you want to burn a fire in this fireplace?
The likely cause of this damage? According to the inspector, much of this sort of damage is caused by water intrusion into the chimney during periods of rain. The installation of a weather cap spark arrestor may have prevented much of this damage.