Wood Stove Inspections

By the Orillia Home Inspector

Certified Building Code Official


Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT)


Certified Wood Stoves

Every Certified Wood Stove will have a sticker which lists the required clearances from combustible materials. There will be a diagram showing each side of wood stove and a corresponding distance. Two common stickers are issued by CSA, ULC and Warneck Hersey.

Any wood stove not having one of this stickers or plates attached is considered an un-certified wood stove and must have a minimum clearance of 48 inches from combustibles. Unless this un-certified appliance is located in basement surrounded by concrete it would be advisable to buy a newer certifed wood stove. Both for financial costs and the appearance aspects of having to install shielding.

It is generally not recommended to have a wood burning appliance in a shop or garage where there may be gasoline or solvent fumes. However, it is permissible as long as the appliance is raised 18” off the floor. In addition, if it’s in a garage, it must be protected from impact. The regulations are vague here, but one or two steel posts well anchored to the floor should suffice.

Check with your insurance company before installing wood stove in garage or workshop to ensure that they will cover you.

Wood Safety Information and Chimney Installation




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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