Schedule an appointment TODAY! 804-693-2859

Old Homes and Chimney Codes

By | Tagged with: | Comments Off on Old Homes and Chimney Codes

Old Homes and Chimney Codes - Olde Town - Gloucester VAOld homes almost always come with at least one fireplace, and often people seek these homes due this added charm. If you are moving into a home with a fireplace or if you have not used your fireplace for an extended period of time, you may be anxious to put it to use and enjoy the comfort and warmth they bring to a home. Yet, before doing so it is important to get it checked out to ensure the safety standards are up-to-date. A certified inspector can assure you of any needed modifications, point out any safety concerns, and can offer advice on how to approach cleaning and then using your fireplace.

What To Look For

Here are some essentials that will need to be checked out to ensure that your chimney is up-to-date with the current codes and regulations.

  1.  Mortar – If the mortar on your chimney is loose or cracked, it should be replaced before use. If the mortar is showing wear, it can cause your chimney to lean which is not ideal for any type of use. The worse the mortar gets, the more repair will be needed. If a chimney shows excessive signs of leaning or moving, it will become more essential to replace the chimney as whole, rather than merely patch up rough spots.
  2. Chimney cap – A chimney cap is essential in keeping a chimney in good shape, so if you are without one, you should purchase one. A chimney cap helps prevent weather damage and proper use will ensure that any negative outside influences, such as rain, snow, and even birds, will steer clear of your chimney.
  3. Exterior Air Supplies – It is sometimes recommended to install a device that brings air in from the outside to aid the fire and improve the chimney’s draft. Without a device of this nature, the fire will feed off of the air inside the home, making the whole process much less energy efficient.
  4. Chimney Base – Make sure that the base of the chimney is up-to-date with modern regulations. It should be properly reinforced and free of any cracks.
  5. Unrelated Obstructions – Especially if you are just purchasing the home, check for any obstructions that may interfere with proper chimney use, such as wires, cables, pipes, and things similar. Previous owners may not have used the chimney for its traditional purpose and worked around it to meet other needs that they had required. Such objects can cause dangerous interferences, should you choose to use the fireplace.

After Inspection

Always keep an open eye for any issues that might come up and ask your inspector what you should be looking for, as far as regular upkeep. To keep a fireplace working safely and properly, homeowners must be responsible for taking all of the necessary steps throughout their maintenance process. And remember to bring a professional in at least once a year to ensure all is well. Once your chimney has been cleared of all possible hazards, enjoy!

Olde Town Chimney Sweeps is experienced when it comes to identifying and solving all chimney & fireplace problems. If you live in an old home, make sure you call Olde Town for an inspection. The codes that were considered safe at the time of construction may not apply to today!