Fireplace Inspections

Fireplace Inspections.  With the price of oil going through the roof, more and more people are turning to wood burning systems to heat their homes. While cheaper than oil, it also poses a greater risk of fire. If you currently heat your home (completely or partially) with wood, most insurance companies will require your unit to be inspected by a Wood Energy Technical Transfer (WETT) specialist.

Pellet Stoves are typically clean-burning that stoves form one leg of a dual-fuel strategy that is appealing to growing numbers of homeowners concerned with personal independence, sustainability and cost savings. Unlike oil and natural gas, wood pellets typically are produced close to where they’re used-reducing the energy used in transportation-and they come from a renewable resource. Most compellingly, the pellets are made from a sawmill waste product-no trees are cut just to manufacture them.

After the firebox is clean, operate the damper as you watch to see that it closes and opens smoothly and fits securely in the brackets. You may want to wear safety glasses here, as the damper may be coated with creosote and ash buildup, which can drop in your eyes. When you are finished checking the damper, be sure it is in the closed position.

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.

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