Fireplace clean but not able to use anymore?!


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Old 10-09-00, 04:04 PM
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About a month ago we had the chimney of our 1911 home swept by a professional cleaning service, his advice (after having paid him for the sweeping of course):"you can't use this fireplace any more". Supposedly the mortar lining (?) was virtually non-existing and half a brick came falling down during the sweeping efforts. According to the sweeper we shouldn't use the fireplace any more 'cause we'd be risking flying bricks and fire (sounded a tad extreme to me, especially since when we bought the house the inspector didn't say anything about this last January). Please give me a hand on the following questions:
1) can i still use the fireplace risk free
2) what is the best (and cheapest) way to repair this problem

Thank you all in advance
 
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Old 10-10-00, 04:44 AM
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I am not a fire expert or a chimney expert, however:

You would risk a house fire if the mortar is in that bad of shape. Do a little research on the web and you'll come to the same conclusion. A friend of mine experienced the same thing and he filed a claim with his homeowners insurance. Look into doing that. I don't think you'll have any luck going after the inspector because there are so many disclaimers in the contracts you sign with them. Call some masons and ask them what's involved in a repair like this. Good luck.
 
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Old 10-10-00, 01:09 PM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by rdaalen:
About a month ago we had the chimney of our 1911 home swept by a professional cleaning service, his advice (after having paid him for the sweeping of course):"you can't use this fireplace any more". Supposedly the mortar lining (?) was virtually non-existing and half a brick came falling down during the sweeping efforts. According to the sweeper we shouldn't use the fireplace any more 'cause we'd be risking flying bricks and fire (sounded a tad extreme to me, especially since when we bought the house the inspector didn't say anything about this last January). Please give me a hand on the following questions:
1) can i still use the fireplace risk free
2) what is the best (and cheapest) way to repair this problem

Thank you all in advance
<HR>


In answer to ? 1): NO. Do NOT use this fireplace. It is an extreme fire hazard.
In answer to ? 2): IF the chimney is structurally sound (a professional mason can answer that after inspecting), you can have either a new stainless steel or concrete flue liner installed. Neither are cheap (probably looking at $2,000 up for either), but far cheaper than tearing down and rebuilding a fireplace. How about just installing gas logs (cheapest alternative)?
Most General Home Inpectors that I have worked with exclude inspecting fireplaces in the fine print, so I highly doubt that you have any recourse there.
Good Luck!
 
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Old 10-10-00, 03:24 PM
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Thank you both for the advice, I guess I won't be burning any of those logs I have laying around
 
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Old 10-11-00, 04:51 AM
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Lets see here - you are willing to trust the inspector, who is not a fireplace expert and probably has no idea of waht to look for, yet are disbelieving of someone with experience?

You have three choices: 1) call in the mason for a 2nd opinion and repair;
2) install vent-free gas logs;
3) ignore the advice, and burn wood anyway - make sure your homeowners insurance coverage is good.
 
 

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