While older homes are not for everyone, some people love the history and charm of houses that were built over 75 years ago. Here in the Nashville area, you can find many restored older homes from different historical areas. Finding that perfect mixture of an antique architectural style with modern convenience is less of a challenge than it used to be, but you should always be sure the chimney has been inspected by a professional chimney company to ensure it is up to current building safety codes and standards. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians at Ashbusters have years of experience and training to inspect older chimneys, and we are very familiar with the most common issues with chimneys in older homes. We would like to take this opportunity to tell you about these issues so you will know what to look for when shopping for an older house.
For homes built during the early 20th century or before, there were no requirements for chimneys to be lined. However, after the National Bureau of Standards began testing chimneys in the 1940’s for safety reasons, local and state building codes and standards began to require that every newly-constructed chimney be lined. According to the CSIA, chimney liners are essential because they protect the combustible parts of houses from extremely high temperatures, protect the masonry work from the corrosive byproducts of combustion, and provide a correctly sized flue for heating appliances. If you are wanting to buy an older home with an unlined chimney, give us a call at Ashbusters so that we can install a durable stainless steel liner with a lifetime guarantee in your chimney.
If you notice a lot of cracks in the masonry work on the exterior chimney, that chimney could not be as sound as you need it to be. Other signs of structural problems include settling at the foundation, missing bricks and mortar joints, and leaning above the roofline. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians can inspect the soundness of the chimney and give you repair recommendations. Sometimes older chimney with severe structural problems must be completely torn down and rebuilt. This situation may lead you to look for another house, but our staff at Ashbusters are trained and certified to rebuild chimneys if the home is the house of your dreams.
If the chimney is in poor condition and has not been used in years, it is likely that it contains debris that could be blocking the flue. Chimneys are popular winter homes for birds, squirrels, and raccoons, and they leave behind their nesting materials inside the chimney. If the chimney is missing bricks, they could have fallen inside to create a blockage. And, of course, there could be leaves, tree branches, and dirt blocking the flue as well. Ashbusters always looks for flue blockages when we inspect chimneys, and we can remove all of the debris to make the chimney safe to use again.
Looking for an older home? Contact us at Ashbusters to schedule an in-depth inspection of the chimney to be sure none of these issues have affected it. You can trust us to be sure your chimney will work safely and efficiently.