When Jim, our chimney expert, was visiting family in Phoenix Arizona, the local news was following a story about 11 chimney fires that happened on Christmas eve. There were lives lost and millions of dollars in property damages. As the pictures of the devastated houses and the offending fireplaces were shown, it was obvious to Jim that every one of these fireplaces had been built or installed improperly. All these fires could have been prevented! Lives could have been saved, and properties protected from damage if only they had been serviced by qualified, competent chimney technicians that followed the proper inspection standards outlined in the NFPA 211! ChimSpect helps technicians follow these standards.
Why is a thorough inspection of the chimney so important? When your home was built there should have been a series of inspections by a building inspector. The building inspector is expected to know all the building codes in every area of construction including but not limited to; footers and foundations, concrete floors, drainage, AC electrical, low voltage electrical, structural design and integrity, insulation, plumbing, masonry, siding, roofing, and the lists go on and on. How did the building inspector become a building inspector? Is he an expert in all of these trades? Most likely he or she was not. Did you know that most if not all states have a law protecting building inspectors from being held liable for missing safety issues or missing details when inspecting construction projects? Why? Because inspectors do miss things! Building inspectors have a tough job; there are ten’s of thousands of lines of building codes. They cannot be expected to find every flaw in the construction of your home.
What about your mason? He should be an expert in building chimneys, right? Sadly, that is not always the case. Most masons did not go to school to learn their trade. Most masons start out as a laborer for a mason and then learn by watching and then by doing. So, the craft is passed on. But just because a mason can lay a brick, does not mean he knows all the codes and safety standards when constructing a fireplace and chimney. Many chimneys and fireplaces are built incorrectly with dangerous design flaws that could endanger lives and personal property.
Companies that use ChimSpect software are dedicated to protecting lives and property by offering thorough chimney inspections and documenting their findings.