Is the home your about to buy a ticking time bomb?

Homemasters are Adelaide’s most comprehensive building inspectors. All our building inspectors are highly qualified, experienced and thorough so that you can buy your new home in complete confidence. Our building inspections cover an exhaustive list of checks so you can be assured if there are any hidden issues, we will find them and inform you so you don’t get any nasty surprises.

Our Adelaide based team of building inspectors always check the flues and chimneys in a home and while conducting a building inspection in Trott Park, Adelaide they uncovered a dangerous issue. Fireplaces and wood burners use the oxygen in the air to burn the fuel which creates heat.  So good ventilation is absolutely critical for the safe operation of a fireplace or log burner.  If the room is not well ventilated the amount of oxygen in a room will be depleted and other gasses including carbon monoxide (CO)will build up.

 

Building inspection finds carbon monoxide risk

To prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide and ensure adequate ventilation most homes are fitted with a flue.  Flues are designed to take the smoke, ash and combustion gases from the fireplace and vent them outside into the open air. A chimney stack acts as a flue, or alternatively, metal flue pipes are often used to channel combustion gasses to the outside. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced by burning gas, coal, wood or any other fuel.  It has no smell or colour, and cannot be seen and it can be potentially fatal at high levels especially for unborn babies, young children, the elderly and those with chronic heart disease.

The amount of CO produced by log burners, gas fires or coal fires is not usually a cause for concern; however, if the chimney/flue is damaged or blocked, and the room poorly ventilated, it can mean that poisonous gasses can build up to dangerous levels as they are confined within a room or a relatively small space with nowhere to escape. When high levels of carbon monoxide are in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide, which prevents oxygen from reaching your organs and tissues (carbon monoxide poisoning), this can lead to brain damage, difficulty breathing and in severe cases death. With the extreme heating, cooling and condensation found in chimneys and flues it is vital that they kept clean and well maintained, and any repairs are undertaken by a professional.

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Building inspection reveals a fire hazard

Upon inspecting the flue at a home in Trott Park, it was found that rust had taken hold and corroded the flue leaving a large hole.  This is a huge red flag, as not only does it allow smoke and/or carbon monoxide to build up into the room, but it may also allow hot embers and ash to escape causing a potential fire hazard. Thankfully the issue was detected as a routine part of our building inspection before any damage was done.  If you are buying a home with gas fire, coal fire or log burner we would suggest that you get it checked out for your own safety and peace of mind. Some of the common issues we find with chimneys are

  • Leaning Chimneys – Depending on what the chimney is made of, a lean of more than 1mm in 100mm maybe considered Our skilled and professional inspectors always check the lean of your chimney and will advise you of any potential issues.
  • Broken or decaying bricks – Broken or decaying bricks will need replacing and repointing to ensure the integrity of the seal of your chimney.
  • Dampness – Condensation and damp can cause real problems, so it is vital that your chimney is well ventilated. The use of capping on the roof can help prevent rainwater from entering the chimney stack, and we will check your flashing to ensure a watertight seal.

If you are worried about carbon monoxide (CO) levels around your fireplace, you can buy a CO alarm from Bunnings for around $45.00. Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, so let us take the stress out of it with a complete building inspection.  We pride ourselves on offering an exceptional customer experience and are always there when you need us, seven days a week. 

Thorough and efficient we use an iPad during your inspection, so we issue your report either on the same day (for am inspections) or the next morning to allow you the time to make any decisions necessary within the cooling off period.

When integrity and trust is must, you need to choose Homemasters – Call 8326 8885 to book your building or pest inspection.