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Real Estate Chimney Inspection

Real Estate Chimney Inspection is an important part of a real estate transaction and a critical component of a quality Home Inspection. Foundation Property Inspection chimney examination focuses on bricks, mortar joints, chimney caps, rain hats, flashing, and a variety of other minor or major structural considerations.

Real Estate Chimney Inspection can identify spalling bricks, cracked caps, missing rain hats, and other important chimney issues that are prevalent in homes around Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding neighborhoods. These issues will cause the mortar to crack and push away from the chimney to create large gaps. Fluctuating temperatures, seasonal conditions, precipitation, landscape, and age of the structure play a part in the deterioration process. At first, you might notice brick and mortar rubble, or chips of stone on the roof, or near the chimney on the ground.

Real Estate Chimney Damage Warning Signs

cracked chimney crown home inspection report

Cracked Chimney Crown

chimney crumbling mortar joints

Crumbling Mortar Joints

real estate chimney inspection deteriorating bricks

Deteriorating Bricks

roof inspection loose damaged flashing

Loose & Damaged Flashing

Moisture Penetration

chimney rain hat

Missing Rain Hat Damage

Real Estate Agents in Southwestern PA understand the importance of Home Inspections. However, some would-be home buyers elect to “pass” the Home Inspection, purchase a home, then find areas of great concern that were missed during the showing and walk-through. When you’re buying or selling a home, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) always recommends comprehensive Real Estate Chimney Inspection.

The structural stability of a chimney is an easy oversight by the untrained eye. Even though there may be no obvious signs of instability the chimney could have damage that cannot be seen from ground level. Rest assured, at Foundation Property Inspection we all know that there’s far more involved during Home and Real Estate Chimney Inspections than simply a passing glance at the chimney’s surface. When access and conditions permit, we take the time to examine your chimney at every level. Hidden defects of the many types can have serious consequences down the road.

real estate chimney signs of spalling bricks, cracked caps, missing rain hats damage

Chimney Inspection Can Identify Alarming Problems

Spalling Brick Chimneys

Our experienced Home Inspectors can identify the early signs of spalling chimneys such as flaking or crumbling brick. If they report that the surface of your chimney bricks may be beginning to flake and/or show minor deterioration is apparent you may elect to contact your favorite contractor to seal the bricks and make any necessary, minor repairs.

How to Prevent Future Spalling

There are a few important preventive maintenance things you can do to increase the lifetime of your chimney and stop chimney brick spalling. Here are some professional tips to prevent your chimney from spalling damage. 

  • Apply Masonry Sealant
  • Install A Top-Quality Chimney Cap
  • Repair Masonry Leaks
  • Repair & Seal Flashing Leaks
  • Annual Chimney Inspections (& Regular Maintenance)

Cracked Chimneys Caps & Disrepair Are A Common Problem

Protect your chimney with a chimney cap because rain can drain into your flue and fall down the chimney, soaking the masonry and brick on the way down. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) advocates for chimney caps to inhibit water penetration, damage, and deterioration.

Chimney Cap Types

In Southwestern PA we see many different types of chimney caps. Standard caps, top-sealing dampers, spark arrestors, and draft-increasing caps. Chimney caps are easy to install, economical, durable, and are made of galvanized metal, stainless steel, and copper.

Chimney Caps Prevent

  • Chimney Cracks
  • Water Penetration
  • Intruding Animals
  • Prove & Maintain A Proper Draft
  • Keeping Sparks from Exiting Your Chimney

Missing Rain Hat Can Cause Serious Damage To The Inside & Outside of Your Chimne

Unprotected chimneys that are exposed to heavy rains, wind, snow, and left unprotected can damage and deteriorate chimneys. Homes in Southwestern Pennsylvania that suffer leaky chimneys are most often caused by no rain hats. Moisture is a major enemy of a chimney and a leaky chimney can result in costly maintenance and repairs if not detected and reported during Real Estate Chimney Inspections.

Home Inspection Can Spot Cracks in Chimney Crowns

The chimney crown is that the cement cover that sits on top of your chimney, covering the flue tiles and liner. If there are any cement or mortar cracks or surface opening, water can infiltrate and cause moisture damage all throughout your flue system even down into the damper and eventually the firebox.

Faulty Chimney Flashing

Chimney flashing is what keeps rainwater from entering the house where the brick structure meets or comes through the roof. If your chimney flashing is old and deteriorating, it can leave cracks between the roof and your chimney, allowing water and moisture to enter your home.

Chimney Separation

Shifting soils within the ground can cause your foundation to shift and wreak havoc on your home. As your foundation is impacted from the shifting soils, it may have a harmful impact on your chimney. Most of the cracks occur in brick chimneys within the mortar joints, which are the weakest parts of the chimney. Unfortunately, the impairment will likely worsen if left untreated, but can easily be corrected when caught during Real Estate Chimney Inspections.

PA Lenders May Now Require A Home Inspection That Includes A Real Estate Chimney Inspection Before Loan Approval

Expert Real Estate Inspection

Our Home Inspections help buyers and sellers identify serious issues with a home. Some lenders require Home Inspections before they’ll approve closing on a real estate loan. FPI is here to assist you and your Realtor, not discourage you. If the inspection report brings up any issues that you simply don’t understand, or aren’t comfortable with, your agent can assist you to navigate things wisely and within the time frame of your contact.

Don't Get Burned!

Foundations Property Inspection provides independent residential Home Inspections & Testing Services for homebuyers, lenders, sellers, investors, developers, and real estate agents. FPI has over 10-years of real estate inspection experience and has performed more than 100,000 Home Inspections for local homeowners.

One of the questions we are often asked by our customers is about the dangers and hazards of spalling brick, cracked caps, and missing rain hats. When the security of yourself, your family, and your home, are on the line do not skip Real Estate Chimney Inspections.

Pittsburgh’s Most Reliable Home Inspectors

Get a fast, dependable Home Inspection Report when you are ready to buy or sell. Foundation Property Inspection is available 7-days a week so you can get the information and peace of mind to make an informed offer.