Curved brick chimney (C) Daniel Friedman Chimney Defects List & Home Inspection Education
     


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This article lists significant chimney defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics. This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education. The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.

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Home Inspection Education Curriculum - Chimneys

4.4   Chimneys: inspection recommendations & list of typical defects

4.4.1 Knowledge Base for Inspecting Chimneys & Flues

1.    Describe the function of chimneys and vents.

2.    Describe metal and masonry chimneys including the materials and components such as footing and foundation, vent connector, chimney walls, flue liner, cap or crown.

3.    Describe the features of  adequate installation and repair techniques for chimneys and vents.

4.    Define the following terms with respect to chimneys and vents: chimney, flue, vent, vent connector (exhaust flue, vent pipe, stack pipe, flue pipe, chimney connector, breaching)JDG, creosote, draft, lateral support, bracing, fire stopping, clay tile, chimney offset, combustible clearance, cap (crown), cement wash, corbeling, spalling, efflorescence, minimum height above roof, ashpit, ash dump, ashpit clean out door, raincap, spark arester, shared flues, type B vents, type L vents, class A chimneys, super chimney(metal).

5.    Identify the codes or standards which apply to masonry and metal chimneys in your area.


4.4.2 Inspection Skills for Chimneys & Flues & Vents

1.    Describe the inspection procedure for masonry and metal chimneys above.

2.    Identify the common defects listed on the next page.

3.    Describe the implication of each defect.

4.    Identify safety issues for the inspector and the occupant of the home(chimney fire, fall hazard, chimney collapse, combustion products poisoning occupant, fire).

4.    Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action where needed.



CHIMNEY AND VENT TYPICAL DEFECTS

      MASONRY CHIMNEYS                    METAL CHIMNEYS OR VENTS

      • Abandoned openings for flue connections • Adjacent chimneys with staggered, height

      • Ash pit door too close to combustibles,       • Cap missing, obstructed or wrong type

      loose or missing       

      • Cap missing or cracked                        • Chimney walls rusting or pitting

      • Chimney extender rusted or stuck        • Chimney not well supported

      • Chimney too short above roof                  • Creosote build-up

      • Cracking                                • Excessive offset from vertical

      • Creosote build-up                             • Inadequate combustible clearances

      • Draft inducer fan inoperative                 • Inadequate fire stopping

      • Efflorescence                           • Inadequate total chimney height

      • Excessive offset from vertical (30%)          • Inadequate chimney height above roof

      • Fire stopping missing or incomplete           • Not continuous through roof

      • Flue or vent connector obstructed       • Not labeled for application

      • Improper slope on cap                   • Sections not well secured

      • Inadequate combustible clearance        • Too many appliances on one flue

      • Loose, missing or deteriorated mortar

      • Loose, missing or deteriorated masonry

      • No capillary break on cap

      • No chimney liner

      • No drip edge on cap

      • Pulling away from house

      • Settling or leaning

      • Spalling

      • Too many appliances on one flue

      • Total chimney height too short

      • Vent connectors extending into chimney

      • Vent connectors loose at chimney      

 

Readers should see CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR for our complete list of articles on this topic. Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website. Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

Readers should see CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR for our complete list of articles on this topic. Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website. Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material. The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.

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