by Bill Jacques

Buying a home is one of the largest investments that a person will make in life.


A chimney inspection

It can be daunting.

Am I paying the right price? Have I checked everything on the property? Are there any major safety issues?

A home inspection is a visual inspection of readily-accessible areas of a house, from the chimney to the foundation. Many current and potential homeowners rely on home inspections to identify challenges or avoid unexpected costly repairs.

As the oldest and most recognized nonprofit association of home inspectors, the American Society of Home Inspectors sets the gold standard for excellence in the industry.

An ASHI-certified home inspector will look closely at the conditions of a home’s chimney, and he or she isn’t just looking for evidence of Santa Claus!

A home inspector will evaluate the firebox, damper and hearth, including a visible inspection of the readily accessible areas of the chimney flue.

Cracks in brickwork or a dirty flue can often warrant a home inspector to recommend additional inspection or repair work by a more technical specialist, the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.

If an inspector suspects a crack in the chimney or chimney crown may be letting in rain and moisture, a chimney inspection by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep would provide an added layer of security with a specialized inspection of the chimney and venting system, potentially even including the use of a specialized camera to determine if a problem is present.

Earlier this month, CSIA shared that most home-heating-related fires involve chimneys, echoing the importance of inspecting chimneys. When you consider what you’ve put into your home – loved ones, keepsakes, valuables – don’t forget to consider what’s going up the chimney.

To learn more about ASHI or to find a certified home inspector in your area, please visit To find a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, please visit


Guest Blogger Bill Jacques is the 2013 National President of the American Society of Home Inspectors, North America’s oldest and most respected professional society of home inspectors that works to build customer awareness of the importance of a quality home inspection.

Editor’s Note: The National Fire Protection Association and the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommend an NFPA 211 Level 2 inspection upon the sale or transfer of a property.