Chimneys in our area have suffered quite a bit of damage in the past few years. The exteriors have been assaulted by the earthquake and long, tough winters.
The earthquake in 2011 caused quite a bit of damage that is still being uncovered.
The harsh weather in recent years has also taken a toll.
Chimney caps, which keep the animals and other debris from getting into the chimney, have been blown off or damaged. Flashing, which is placed around the chimney to prevent water from getting in between the chimney and the roof to prevent leaks can be damaged by the heavy snows and rains. Mortar, the substance that holds the bricks together, deteriorates over time.
Inside the chimney there can be missing tiles as well as a build-up of creosote. Bottom line, if you have not had your chimney checked out in the past few years you may want to have a thorough inspection by a reputable licensed chimney sweep.
The good news/bad news is that they now have cameras that can see the interior of the chimneys.
That means they can be quite thorough but they also can uncover defects that were previously undetected and the cost to repair can be quite steep.
My advice is to have someone inspect. If the cost seems high, then get a second and third opinion.
Then, schedule the work as needed. The exterior work would be prudent to tackle immediately. You may wish to push extensive interior work to the summer when prices may be lower.
If you are selling your home anytime in the near future you will want to have the inspection now so there are no surprises on the home inspection. Because of the cameras, we are finding that more and more buyers are asking for the extensive work on the chimneys to be completed by sellers. Should you have any questions or need advice please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.