As you help homeowners put their homes on the market and help prospective home buyers find the perfect house for them, you will encounter many chimneys. Just like with many other parts of the home, safety goes beneath the surface. Chimneys that look great could have serious structural or safety issues on the inside. When you are preparing to help a client sell or buy a home, what features should you look for in a chimney that is safe for sale?

Features to Look for in a Safe Chimney

  1. No Spalling: Spalling occurs in masonry as a result of moisture penetration. The brick or stone will appear to be flaking or pitted. This can be very evident when entire chunks of brick are missing, but the early signs can be more subtle. Look for pieces of stone or brick around the roof or on the ground, which can indicate masonry damage that must be repaired.
  2. No Efflorescence: Efflorescence is a fancy word for the powder-like white residue that can be seen on bricks. In most cases, it’s a sign that water is penetrating the bricks and doing damage. The white dust is left behind from water that moved through the brick and left mineral deposits behind. Chimneys with efflorescence often lack a flue liner, which can help reduce the chances of this.
  3. A Chimney Cap: A chimney cap helps to keep animals and yard debris from entering the chimney. It also reduces the chances of moisture entering the chimney, and as a result, the likelihood that creosote will accumulate. A chimney cap is a must-have on any chimney.
  4. A Secure Flashing: The flashing is the covering that protects the seam between the chimney and the roof. It helps to stop water and other moisture from getting into the home at the junction. Poorly maintained or repaired chimneys sometimes have pinning in the flashing. This means that the flashing is attached to the mortar and caulk was added to the flashing to make it waterproof. However, this can lead to cracks in the caulk and vulnerability. Properly installed flashing should be present and without signs of damage.

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.