Thursday, February 3, 2011

How do you know when a fireplace is in good condition?

Q: How do I check if my fireplace is in good condition?

Many people ask me how they know when the fireplace is in "good condition."  Wood-burning fireplaces are considered inefficient heat sources, but that doesn’t deter many homeowners from wanting them in their homes. Who wouldn't want to stretch out in front of the fire, right?!  There are two basic types of wood-burning fireplaces: A masonry fireplace made of brick or mortar, and a metal insert fireplace that is a prefab unit with masonry surrounding it.

Fireplaces and chimneys are part of a general home inspection. A good inspector (and I have one!) will inspect the firebox and check for any major cracks in the masonry surrounding the firebox. The professional will then look into the flue and operate the damper to verify that it works.

The inspector will also observe the general condition of the chimney, note the materials of its construction, the height of the chimney and any unsafe conditions. He or she will note areas in need of maintenance and recommend repairs.  Bottom line -- it's just another aspect of home ownership that should not be left unattended. 

Click here to see some great homes for sale in Atlanta with fireplaces

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