If you decide to buy an older home, you most likely know you will have more maintenance responsibilities to be sure all of the systems in your home are up to modern building safety codes and regulations. Standards can change over the years, and you need to ensure the previous owners made the necessary updates. Your masonry chimney is included in these systems, but how do you know whether or not your chimney meets the current codes and standards? The Mad Hatter can help you have an updated and safe chimney by inspecting your older chimney to see if it is up to code. We would like to tell you about a couple of the most common chimney updates we make to get chimneys in the Indianapolis area up to modern codes.
Even though it is now required by building codes for chimneys to be lined when they are constructed, it was common to have an unlined masonry chimney 50 years ago. A chimney without a proper liner can be very hazardous. Chimneys need to be lined to protect your home from the extremely high temperatures that are produced when you burn a fire in the fireplace. Chimney liners also keep the toxic byproducts from combustion such as carbon monoxide from entering your home. Additionally, your fireplace or other heating appliance will not work as efficiently without the appropriate liner. For example, fireplace inserts typically require a much smaller flue than an older masonry chimney provides, so a new liner that is matched to the size of the fireplace insert can be installed for efficiency and safety reasons. If your older chimney is unlined, The Mad Hatter can install a new stainless steel liner that will last for years as well as bring your chimney up to modern codes.
Years ago, builders did not have required measurements for height and clearances when constructing chimneys. Unfortunately, if your older chimney is too short, it not only does not meet current safety codes, but it also will not work properly. Today, the tops of chimneys must be at least three feet higher than any roof surface, at least two feet above any structure within ten feet, and at least ten feet away from any other roof surface or structure. These chimney height requirements were made for safety reasons. Chimneys that do not meet these height standards can lead to a structure fire. The Mad Hatter can inspect your older chimney and take measurements to ensure it is up to these codes. If your chimney is not tall enough, we can add height to the top of your chimney so that it will meet these important safety building codes.
For a safe and efficient chimney, be sure it is up to current building codes. If you are buying an older home, contact us at The Mad Hatter to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection.