Bringing An Existing Chimney Back Into Service? Critical Things To Consider

If you live in an older home, it may have been constructed with one or more chimneys as part of the original design. In the ensuing years as central heating become more prevalent, many of these existing chimneys went unused and were closed up or plastered over. 

With power outages and rolling brownouts becoming more common, many homeowners have developed a renewed interest in bringing an existing chimney back into service so that they can use a fireplace or install a wood or pellet stove. If you are a homeowner interested in exploring the possibility of using an existing chimney in your home, here are some critical factors to be considered. 

Condition issues

Safe chimney usage requires regular cleaning, maintenance, and inspections to reduce the risk of fire and ensure proper function. When a chimney is sealed off and left unused for long periods of time, several issues can arise. One of the most important of these issues is degradation or damage to the structure of the chimney that could make it unsafe to use. Age and exposure to weather, as well as settlement of the home, can all cause cracking and significant damage to an existing masonry chimney. 

Before moving ahead with any plan to put an old, existing chimney back into service, homeowners will want to have it inspected by a professional chimney repair service to determine whether condition issues exist and how they could be best addressed. If the chimney service determines that an existing chimney has received structural damage that could make it unsafe for use, homeowners may want to discuss the idea of installing a steel fireproof liner into the chimney that could allow their damaged chimney to be restored to safe use. 

Insurance issues 

If an existing chimney can be safely returned to service after being checked or repaired by a professional chimney service, homeowners will need to discuss its use with their home insurance provider. Your home insurance provider may require the purchase of a special rider to your existing policy before they extend coverage for a home where a chimney is being used with a fireplace, wood, or pellet stove. 

Additionally, your home insurance provider may require periodic inspections or modifications to the structure, such as specific chimney heights or the usage of approved materials. By working closely with a professional chimney repair service, homeowners will be best able to develop a safe, affordable plan for correcting existing issues and bringing an unused chimney back into regular service. Contact a chimney repair service for more information.