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Should You Have a Chimney Inspection Before Putting Your House on the Market?

When you are beginning the process of selling your house you should make sure to include a chimney inspection on your to do list if you have a fireplace or other fuel-burning appliance such as a wood burning stove or fireplace insert.

chimney inspection before selling home in SE Wisconsin

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) actually requires a Level 2 chimney inspection before the transfer or sale of a property if there has been any events that may have caused damage to the chimney. Taking care of this step early on may help you expedite the sale of your house.

If you wait until you have found a potential buyer to have the chimney inspected, the buyer may be discouraged to close the sale if issues are discovered during the process. Your home inspector may even recommend in writing that you have a chimney inspection before the home is put up for sale because it is not uncommon for chimney technicians to discover problems that need to be addressed. Then chimney repairs can be made before they ever become an issue.

The Top 5 Common Issues Discovered During Chimney Inspections

1.     A fireplace, chimney or stove that does not meet safety codes either because of improper installation or as the result of neglect or deterioration

2.     Insufficient distance between a heating appliance and combustible material

3.     An improperly connected or incorrect size of chimney liner for a fuel-burning appliance

4.     Incorrect chimney flashing that does not have the same level of durability as the masonry which can cause leaking that damages the structural integrity of the chimney

5.     Moisture damage from a cracked crown, a missing chimney cap or improper flashing

The real risks to new homeowners of carbon monoxide poisoning or a house fire that can be caused by a fireplace or fuel-burning appliance that is damaged, in disrepair or incorrectly installed are what make these safety issues so important. Moisture damage to a chimney that is unaddressed can also lead to more costly repairs if the moisture spreads to the surrounding ceilings, walls and floors. Ensuring that your chimney and fireplace or fuel-burning appliance meet safety codes and are in good condition will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

When you hire a certified chimney professional to conduct the required Level 2 inspection, it is important to choose a technician who been certified by the National Fireplace Institute or Chimney Safety Institute and has kept up with building code requirements for chimneys.

What a Level 2 Chimney Inspection Looks Like

A Level 2 chimney inspection includes the basic components of the Level 1 inspection that should be performed on an annual basis along with a more in-depth examination of your chimney and fireplace or fuel-burning appliance.

Step 1: The chimney technician will make sure that there are no blockages, buildup of creosote or soot, or any other deficiencies in the ventilation system.

Step 2: He/she will look at the firebox, damper, smoke chamber, crown and cap, along with the masonry and structural elements to ensure it is structurally sound and performing properly.

Step 3: He/she will access the crawlspace and attic to examine the exterior and area around the chimney to look for any signs of deterioration or damage.

Step 4: A color video inspection tool will be used to look at the chimney and all of its components from top to bottom.

At the end of the inspection, you will receive a detailed report that lists all the findings during the inspection and recommendations for repairs if they are needed. Our certified chimney inspectors at Burlington’s have extensive experience performing Level 2 expectations. They would be glad to walk through the report with you, answer your questions and share their wisdom about the best solutions for any issues they discover. They will never make any repairs without your authorization. They know how overwhelming the process of selling a home can be. It is their goal to help you make your safe and ready to put on the market.

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