Orillia

HOME INSPECTIONS

Fireplace Inspections

By the Orillia Home Inspector

Certified Building Code Official

 

Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT)

 

The most common problem found with fireplaces is the hearth does not extend 18 inches from firebox to nearest combustibles. Older fireplaces were typically built with 12 inch hearths. There is a hearth pad that is certified by ULC and can provide the required protection.

Older homes will sometime have broken or non-functioning dampers. This can be an expensive repair and an estimate should be obtained before purchasing home if this is discovered as part of your home inspection or WETT inspection.

In Canada every chimney must be installed in accordance with B365-01 and the National Building Code or Provincial Building Code applicable to where you are installing appliance.

Every wood stove installation requires a sound masonry chimney (more on these later) or a UL approved Stainless Steel Class "A" Insulated Chimney. The WETT inspector will identify and ensure the proper chimney or flue pipe is being used.


A solid fuel appliance shall not be connected to a chimney that serves a natural gas or propane fired device. Only a solid fuel burning appliance certified for use in conjunction with oil-fired equipment shall be connected to a venting system serving an oil-fired appliance.


Wood Safety Information and Chimney Installation


 

 

 

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Complete resource for wood burning technology and information for the home owner.

 

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Inspection Definitions


1. Chimney - vent flue gases from fireplaces or heating equipment.
2.  Chimney flue top or chimney cap (if present)
3.  Chimney crown or chimney top seal
4.  Chimney Flashing seals the roof penetration to avoid leaks into the structure.
5. Masonry fireplace
6. Fireplace ash pit door. 
7.  Fireplace ash pit cleanout door.
8.  Fireplace mantel - horizontal trim attached to wall above fireplace opening.
9. Hearth - flat surface in front of the fireplace, protects flooring from fire.
10. Ridge cap or ridge vent (if present)
11. Ridge board
12. Cripple rafters or Jack rafters (between chimney and house eaves - rafters that do not extend the full distance between house eaves and the roof ridge board)
13. Rafter blocking or cross bridging, also found on floor joists and in some wall framing
14. Soffit or lookout or house eaves. The soffit is the enclosed portion of the roof that overhangs the house walls at the roof lower edges.
15. Roof sheathing or roof decking.
16. Roof shingles (asphalt shingles, clay tiles, slates, wood shingles, or shakes, similar materials)
17. Drip edge (used at lower roof edges or eaves). The drip edge is special metal flashing intended to divert water off of the roof lower edges into the roof gutter system. Drip edges should spill into the gutter, not behind it. 
18. Gutter (attached over or to fascia board) to collect roof drainage and prevent it from spilling down and along the building walls (leaks) and basement (wet basements
19. Downspouts (conduct roof drainage from the gutters to a destination away from the building or into a storm drain system).
20.  Downspout leader or downspout extension (hard to see, behind that front right entry porch column)
21. Gable end and gable-end attic vent. The gable end the house wall on a conventional simple gable roof such as shown in our sketch is the triangular end wall
22. Gable end fascia. The gable end fascia is the trim board attached to the roof edges, extending from ridge to lower roof edge, and where a rake overhang is present, covering the outermost rake rafter or barge rafter.
23. Gable end vent or attic vent at gable end