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CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHIMNEY COMPONENT DEFINITIONS
CHIMNEY FIRE ACTION / PREVENTION
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
FLAME COLOR, BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION
HEATING SYSTEM INSPECTION
HOME HEATING SAFETY
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
SAFETY RECALLS CHIMNEYS VENTS HEATERS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
WOOD, COAL STOVES & FIREPLACES
WOOD STOVE SAFETY
This article describes chimney defects and hazards that can be observed from on-roof access, including damage to a masonry chimney top, antennas mounted on chimneys, shared flues, damaged or missing chimney cap, damaged chimney flue, creosote hazards, & angled chimney flue hazards.
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Our photos above show two unsafe chimneys that were still in active use. Notice those missing bricks and lost mortar? Damaged chimney top masonry such as missing bricks and a missing chimney cap were easily spotted from ground level at both the Coolidge Hotel in Vermont (above left) and the private home in New York (above right).
The home inspector or owner should ask, "Where did those bricks go? are they blocking the flue? Is the flue damaged and unsafe? What repairs are needed before we install a chimney rain cap?" This chimney may be too short as well - tough to call from ground level.
See Chimney Collapse Hazards & Chimney Support & Bracing Requirements. We discuss repairs to chimneys at the roof top at CHIMNEY TOP & CLAY FLUE TILE REPAIRS.
Determine the Extent of Chimney Damage and the Safety of the Entire Chimney Flue
First, you will want to be absolutely sure that the chimney damage, whether to the ceramic clay flue liner or to the surrounding masonry or both, is limited to the upper, visible, accessible part of the chimney.
Other chimney damage lower in the chimney itself as it passes through or alongside the building could be very dangerous, even fatal if carbon monoxide or other flue gases leak into the building or if sparks cause a fire.
We suggest that you hire a professional chimney sweep who can examine the entire flue. Most chimney sweeps also offer repair services, and can suggest what repairs are needed and give alternatives for the particular chimney and flue on your building.
We discuss repairs to chimneys at the roof top at CHIMNEY TOP & CLAY FLUE TILE REPAIRS.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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