Breaking Down The Chimney Condition Report
The 21 inspection points of the form are discussed in detail
The Submitted Chimney Condition Report
The 21-point condition report is filled out and submitted with each cleaning and/or inspection we perform. Here is the breakdown of this report point by point:
Chimney height is critical to ensure proper draw of the fire smoke up and out of the chimney. There is a specific formula that is used as a baseline to determine how high to build a chimney, and in certain conditions the chimney needs to be built higher than the baseline determined by the height calculation formula.
3. Crown / Wash
The crown seals off the top of the chimney and sheds rain and snow. Some chimneys may not have a crown due to their design not requiring one. Other chimneys are missing a crown and should have one installed. Crowns can crack in several places and still be bonded strongly to the brick. In this case, you want to seal the crown with Tamoseal to waterproof it and prevent it from further deterioration. If the condition of the crown serious, then a new crown should be poured on top of the chimney.
4. Brickwork / Mortar
At this point in the inspection, the bricks, blocks (CMUs or “concrete masonry units) or stone work is examined, as well as the condition of the mortar. a great preventative-maintenance action is to have your chimney waterproofed with siloxane. Brick and mortar can become saturated in heavy rains. When a wet chimney goes through multiple freeze-thaw cycles, the mortar can crack and erode. This is called “frost wedging.” The faces of brick and block can shed off, which is called “spalling.”
If the bricks are in good condition, but the mortar joints are looking worn, then tuckpointing the chimney (or a portion of it) may be the appropriate repair. If not, a rebuild of the chimney, or a portion thereof, may be in order.
19. Fire Extinguisher / Smoke detectors / Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A strategically located fire extinguisher can save everyone concerned a lot of grief. It can save lives. It can save money – lots of it! You should have an appropriately -sized extinguisher on every level of the house. Inspect the gauge on them every 6 months to make sure they are still well-charged. The same applies to smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure these detectors are installed in the appropriate places per the floor plan of your home.
20. Gas / Oil Furnace Flue Liner
This point has to do with a furnace that is vented into a chimney. Furnaces that are vented into chimneys can be fueled by natural gas, fuel oil and firewood. The chimney may have a traditional terra cotta or pumice liner (see point #6), it may have a liner inserted down the chimney that connects to the furnace exhaust pipe. An oil furnace would have a stainless steel liner installed to it, while a natural gas furnace would have an aluminum liner attached to it. There are many good reasons to have a liner installed to your furnace if it does not already have one installed. Click here to learn more about liners for your furnace.
21. Fire Escape Plan
If you are new to a home, you need to get yourself and others oriented to potential exits in the case of a fire that requires exiting the building. The best case scenario is that you can safely put out the fire with an extinguisher, etc. It is particularly critical to have a fire escape plan whith children. They need to be drilled on that plan regularly so that they can act automatically per the drill, when they are frightened. If there is more than one level of the house, they need to know how to deploy a fire escape ladder, and how to travel down it safely.