Owning a home that is more than 50 years old involves a great deal of responsibility. Since building codes have changed over the years, it is essential to ensure your home is up to these modern standards. Just like the electrical and plumbing systems in your older home, your fireplace and chimney system needs to be inspected to see if it meets the newer building requirements. At Ashbusters, our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians are familiar with the current codes and standards that are required for fireplaces and chimneys. We can check out your older chimney and make any necessary updates to bring everything up to code. We would like to share with you some of the most common changes and repairs we perform to ensure a chimney meets modern standards.
If your home was built before 1960, there is a possibility that you may have a block chimney. By today’s standards, it is illegal to have a block chimney situated against a home if it is not surrounded by bricks as this type of chimney is more likely to crack, lean, and leak. Often, Ashbusters must tear down block chimneys unless we are able to lay bricks around each side of the block chimney. This will give you the required clearances that are needed to bring the chimney up to modern standards.
The most common chimney code violation that Ashbusters sees is a chimney that has no liner. The CSIA strongly recommends that every chimney be lined. Furthermore, it is against modern building codes to not line a chimney at the time of construction. Chimney liners are essential for your chimney to work efficiently and safely. A liner protects your home from the high temperatures that are produced by a fire, keeps the masonry materials of your chimney from being damaged by the corrosive byproducts of combustion, and provides a properly sized flue to your heating appliance to avoid draft problems. If your chimney does not have a liner, it is very easy for us to correct this issue and bring your chimney up to code by installing a new stainless steel liner in your chimney.
If you have seen cracked, loose, or missing bricks and mortar on the outside of your chimney, your chimney has most likely suffered from spalling damage. This occurs during the winter when water that has leaked into the masonry materials freezes and expands. As this water thaws out, it creates cracking and flaking of the bricks and mortar. Unrepaired spalling damage can quickly lead to structural problems, including the collapse of your chimney. To avoid hazardous situations, contact Ashbusters to inspect the damage and suggest necessary repairs.
Do you own an older home? Contact us at Ashbusters for a chimney inspection to be sure your chimney meets modern standards. We can help you make the necessary updates that will bring your chimney up to code.