Is Your Older Chimney Up to Code?

chimney code - Greenville SC - Chim Cheree ChimneyIf you live in an older home with a masonry chimney, you should know how important it is to have your chimney professionally inspected every year to be sure it stays up to the current building code requirements. Your chimney may have suffered from structural damage that could make it unsafe to use. Additionally, chimneys built before the 1950s were not held to the same construction standards as now, so if your home is over 60 years old, a professional chimney inspection is a good idea to be sure your chimney is up to code. Improvements are constantly being made in chimney and fireplace safety, and you want to be guaranteed that your chimney will benefit from these improvements. Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists provides expert chimney inspections from our certified chimney sweeps who have been trained by national fire safety organizations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) on how to give the most up-to-date inspections possible. We would like to share with you some of the things we check out when we inspect older chimneys to ensure they are up to code and work safely.

Soundness of Structure

Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists will look for any major cracks and crumbling bricks and mortar that can be signs of structural damage. We will also check for any leaning or imbalance that can signal the danger of structural collapse.

Chimney Height

According to codes set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the chimney should be at least three feet taller than the surface of the roof. In addition, the chimney should be at least two feet taller than any roof surface within ten feet. These height guidelines prevent fires from sparks jumping out of the chimney onto a roof.

Flue Liner

Modern building codes require lining a chimney at the time of its construction; however, buildings constructed in the early 20th century may have no liner at all. To protect your home from high temperatures and the byproducts of combustion, Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists can install a new chimney liner if your older chimney has no liner or if the existing liner is damaged beyond repair.


If your chimney is older and has not been used for a while, there is a possibility that bricks have fallen inside the chimney and are blocking the flue. Our chimney sweeps will look for fallen bricks as well as debris from leaves and animal nests that are causing flue blockages. If your flue is blocked, you are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because this toxic gas cannot escape out of the chimney.

To be sure your older chimney is up to current building codes, contact us at Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists to schedule a chimney inspection. We will look for any issues and make recommendations of repairs that are necessary for your chimney to be used safely and properly.

By David Kline | Tagged with: Tags: , , |