CCTV Camera Inspections tell us if it is safe for you to have a stove installed
Lining a chimney involves hanging a stainless steel chimney liner down your chimney through your house. Before you commit to do this, you need to know your chimney is safe and sound. So that it will:
- Hold the chimney liner without your chimney falling down!
- Prevent poisonous gases from leaking into your home should your chimney liner fail for any reason.
- Keep your chimney separate from your neighbours chimney (and vice versa of course!)
This is where a detailed report and CCTV camera inspection comes in
Technology has advanced so much – chimney cameras are now much smaller, much better quality and so very much more portable than they used to be. We can put a camera up your chimney and receive footage of every inch of the inside of your chimney that hasn’t been seen by human eyes since the property was built!
We’ll also check your access, check your loft and any rooms your chimney goes through to satisfy ourselves that a chimney liner and stove installation is safe for you, your home, your family and your pets.
You would be surprised at how many properties have strange combustible things attached to their chimneys in their lofts – water tanks being the more normal, but nonetheless inadvisable.
The report we provide you with is just the start of the audit trail proving that you and we have shown due diligence in checking it is safe and appropriate to install a multifuel or woodburning stove in your home.
In approximately 85% of cases, the chimney is sound and we know we can safely go ahead with your installation.
Before CCTV Camera Inspections were Possible
Before technology evolved enough for CCTV chimney cameras to be a standard piece of equipment in any conscientious installers kit, installers would have to rely on their experience, poke their heads up the chimney from the bottom or – if you get a good one, who comes with ladders – from the top as well and deem the chimney sound whilst praying the invisible bit in the middle is in the same condition.
Astonishingly some installers still rely on this method of determining your chimney is going to keep your family and home safe when you introduce a new heatsource into it!
Years ago, we might only discover a problem on the day of installation, when now we can identify it before anything is decided – Make a plan to rectify it and carry on with the installation with confidence.
People who Should have a CCTV Chimney Camera Inspection
- People who are thinking of having a chimney lining and solid fuel stove installed.
- People who are experiencing problems with their installation which hasn’t been addressed by having the chimney swept for example
- People who are purchasing a new house. Neither a chimney nor a solid fuel appliance are covered under a Home Buyers Report. A faulty chimney discovered after you’ve signed on the dotted line can be:
- Annoying at best
- Cost £’000s to put right
- Be fatal for your family and pets at worst
Things we’ve discovered with a CCTV Chimney Camera Inspection
85% of chimneys we inspect are safe and sound and we have been good to go with an installation that was successful, legal and insurable.
We discovered a breach in a chimney between a customer and his neighbour. We could see into the neighbours chimney and right down to his stove! The neighbour’s (new) installation was unsafe with a lot of ‘spare’ flue coiled back into the chimney void. We were able to advise the neighbour on what to say to get his problems addressed. We were also able to advise our customer on rebuilding his ‘mid-feather’ breach. Had we adopted the head up the chimney method of deeming a potential installation safe, the problem may not have become evident until both stoves were lit. Having two flue liners in close proximity getting up to extremely high temperatures would have led to guaranteed disaster with a chimney fire being the best outcome. The worst doesn’t bear thinking about.
We’ve found issues with a number of properties which were being purchased. One of the worst being a hole in the middle of a large open fire chimney which meandered through a large, old house and opened out in the master bedroom. That chimney hadn’t been used by the sellers, but the purchasers were intending to. Carbon monoxide straight into your bedroom…… could have had fatal, tragic consequences.
The others have all involved either work being completed by the sellers prior to the purchase going through to make the chimney or installation safe or a renegotiation of the purchase price.
Other CCTV camera inspections have found
- Brand new liners having been installed and blocked off with roofing materials
- Heavy tar and creosote damage
- Timber roof trusses and floor joists terminating in the chimney. Never a good plan having combustible, structural things in your chimney just waiting to catch fire.
Reasons Not to Have a CCTV Camera Inspection
None!! Just because ‘you’re not dead yet’ (we hear this all the time) doesn’t mean your chimney is safe. If you can minimise a risk – why wouldn’t you?
It isn’t just your risk. If something bad happens, someone will be blamed. We minimise our exposure to risk by making sure your installation will be safe, legal and insurable before we start.
Please contact us if you want to talk more about this, or give us a call on 01989 218328 or 01453 753485