County Inspectors Remind Residents to Check Their Chimneys

February 1, 2012


  • Check your chimney for these signs of damage that may have resulted from last August's earthquake.
  • Recent warmer weather may help you spot cracks or crumbling masonry.

Fairfax County’s building inspectors want to remind homeowners to check their chimneys for any damage as a result of last summer’s earthquake.

Because of the recent swing between colder and warmer weather, it may be easier to spot cracks or crumbling mortar. Cracks allow water to penetrate a chimney, and as water freezes and unfreezes, it can  make cracks larger or lossen mortar.

Check your chimney for these signs of damage. A chimney sweep or mason also can provide a thorough, professional inspection.

Broken or cracked chimneys can cause fires, as well as let heat, smoke and toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, into the home.

If you hire a chimney sweep or mason to perform an inspection to do work, be sure to follow these consumer tips, and check to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. Any repairs should be performed by a licensed masonry contractor.

Chimney inspections and repairs can be performed by a licensed masonry contractor. Minor chimney repairs do not require a county permit, but permits are required for installing new woodstoves, factory-built fireplaces, chimneys and gas logs.

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