Fireplace Inspections


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Fireplace Inspections by WETT Certified Technician

Fireplace Inspections – A fire is contained in a firebox or fire pit; a chimney or other flue directs gas and particulate exhaust to escape. Fireplaces are a central household feature, as the flames and crackling sounds are comforting, even when not necessary for heat or cooking. Fireplace mantels are a focus for interior decoration.

New Wood Stove - Barrie Wett InspectionsMany people enjoy the look and warmth of a fireplace in their home.   The crackling sound of well dried wood on the hearth is music to the romantic persons soul.  With the new fireplace inserts available there is no more wasted heat going up the chimney and cold drafts swirling around your legs.   New technology has enable the reduction of combustion gases and by products most typical fireplaces produce and emit into the environment.

There are many homes with the old style traditional fireplace still in use.   These older types should be upgraded for more fuel efficiency and greater protection for the environment.  It has been calculated that an older fireplace will emit as much fine-particle pollution in nine hours as an automobile in a year.  So save your self money and help protect our environment by upgrading your fireplace for the next heating season.

Smoke spilling out of Fireplace

  • Windows maybe open creating a negative pressure allowing smoke to take path of least resistance.  (Close windows)
  • Install air intake or clean out existing one.  New fireplaces are required to have a secondary exterior air source.
  • Avoid using appliances that maybe exhausting air from  your home, dryers, exhaust hoods etc.
  • Chimney is too low,  check height and nearby objects that may cause ventilation problems.
  • Blocked chimney’s can cause fires etc.   Inspect your chimney prior to heating season for bird nests etc.
  • Preheat your chimney  by burning some clean paper prior to lighting wood.  This will removed cold air and allow flue gases to rise immediately.

A Certified WETT inspection report identifies the areas where the installation meets or does not meet the manufacturer’s  installation instructions, CSA and Ontario Building Code requirements.

A typical home inspection would not include inspecting fireplace or woodstove. Unless a home inspector has a WETT certification, a separate inspection of the fireplace by a certified technician is required.

The WETT Inspection involves  more than certifying the installation. The WETT report will also identify whether it is still safe to use the fireplace.

If fireplaces are improperly installed and maintained, they can be dangerous to the homeowner and could also prevent a home buyer from getting property insurance.

An unsafe fireplace may have a buildup of creosote. This flammable substance is hard, dark and crustlike and is produced during incomplete combustion of wood, and when it accumulates inside the fireplace or chimney over time, it can cause a fire.

Soot is also a flammable deposit, dark in colour but softer than creosote. Most chimney sweeps recommend cleaning when soot deposits reach  1/8-inch in depth.

For safety reasons, fireplaces should always have a glass or mesh screen to prevent sparks from escaping and igniting an adjacent wood or carpet floor.

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