As a real estate agent, you are one of the first places that your home sellers or buyers will go when an inspection returns with issues noted. It’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with some of the most common surprises that pop up during pre-listing chimney inspections and how to solve them.

  1. Masonry Problems: The bricks, stones and masonry that make up the structure of any chimney need to be properly maintained for the chimney to be safe. If a chimney has not been maintained over the years, there will often be masonry repairs or brickwork required to make it safe again. We often recommend tuckpointing on older chimneys with damaged mortar. This procedure removes old mortar and adds new mortar to improve the structure and make the chimney more stable. In rare cases, moisture can damage the integrity of the bricks themselves to the point that some bricks might need to be replaced entirely.
  2. Chimney Obstruction: Many things can build up in a chimney over time, particularly if there is no chimney cap. Blockage is a serious hazard, as it can stop smoke from properly exiting the chimney. Bird nests, squirrel nests, creosote and leaves should all be removed by a professional during the chimney cleaning process.
  3. Creosote: One of the most common surprises during a pre-listing chimney inspection is creosote build-up. Creosote is an extremely flammable substance that naturally builds up on the inside of your chimney depending on the wood that you burn and other factors. Without regular cleanings, creosote can coat the inside of the chimney and increase the chances of a house fire starting in the chimney.
  4. Flue Cracking: Chimney linings are under a lot of stress over the course of a year, as fires burn hot inside, the exterior temperatures drop below freezing and moisture levels fluctuate. When moisture on the flue combines with creosote as a result of burning wood, the lining will degrade. If we discover a crack in the chimney of your home buyer or seller, we can help to repair it or, if necessary, replace it entirely.

Clean Sweep Is Here to Help!

Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing and duct cleaning services designed to keep all of your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you have a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of a slate roof inspection or repairs, we are here to help.