Wood Stove Inspections

Inspecting and cleaning fireplaces and chimneys is essential for the safety and efficiency of your wood burning unit. Remember, some projects are better left to professionals, but with basic tools and common sense, you can get a pretty good idea of the condition of yours.

Start by cleaning your fireplaces firebox. Brush the sides and bottom with a stiff broom or chimney brush. Vacuum out the loosened ashes and if possible remove the andirons.

Care must be taken when installing a wood stove. Adequate clearances have to be made to all combustibles, including floors, walls or furniture. Area in front of wood stove door must have a hearth pad that will extend for a minimum of 18 inches. Some companies sell ULC rated hearth covers that will meet requirements.

In Ontario fireplace hearths are required to be built of non-combustible material and extend a minimum of 18 inches in front of firebox. Some companies make a ULC rated hearth pad which can be used for hardwood floors etc. If you have brick installed they have to be sealed with mortar etc. to ensure embers do not fall between the cracks.

Creosote is actually very flammable, so you need to make sure that you’re having it cleaned regularly. Most professionals recommend that you have a chimney sweep in when the soot and/or creosote gets up to an eighth of an inch deep. It is rather difficult for a homeowner to be able to measure the soot level, so be sure to ask your professional inspector how deep the soot is at the time of your professional wood fireplace inspections. He will most likely recommend having a professional chimney sweep clean your chimney.

A vent shall not terminate less than 2.1 m above any public sidewalk, lane or street or right of way. It shall not be within 1.8 m of a mechanical air supply inlet to a building. The vent shall not be within 1 m of a building opening or air inlet or another appliance or within 1 meter of the center line of an exterior gas meter.

If you are buying an older home with a masonry fireplace it is always recommended that you hire a professional chimney sweep to clean chimney prior to having WETT inspection. It is impossible to see cracked tiles or deterioration if chimney has layer of soot and creosote on tiles. Cleaning chimney will remove soot and creosote and allow proper inspection of fireplace chimney. Usually professional chimney sweeps are also WETT Certified.

Want to find out more about theBarrie Home Inspector PDI Inspections, then visit Barrie Home Inspector’s site on how to choose Barrie’s Premier Home Inspector for all your Real Estate needs.

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