It’s common knowledge – curb appeal is critical to getting homes sold.  If something spooks a buyer who is driving by your listing, they are NOT making that sign call. And as we all know, the beauty of a sign call is not only about that listing… it’s about generating a relationship with that buyer to sell them their next home.

Siting high above your listing is an often forgotten feature of the home – the chimney cap and chase cover.  And if it’s rusty, damaged or ugly, it’s scares buyers away.

The purpose of the chimney cap is to keep water and debris from entering the chimney flue. Water inside the flue is an incredibly destructive problem due to rusting of the metal chimney components, as well as damaging to mortar.

Debris such as leaves and twigs put the home at risk of a chimney fire.  Birds, bats, squirrels, and snakes that find their way into your chimney flue really stink when they die.  If they make their way into your living room, the fun is just beginning!

The purpose of the chase cover is to keep water and debris from entering the chimney chase. The expense to rebuild a chimney chase can be huge, especially if the chase is stucco! This damage and expense can be avoided with a properly performing chase cover.  Many homeowners don’t realized these must be replaced every so often.

Another problem brought on by a damaged chimney cap and chase cover is the negative impact on indoor air quality.  The fireplace flue acts like a big pipe that connects the air outside your home to the air inside your home.  When that flue pipe is full of dirt, debris, soot, creosote, pollen, and dead animals – it stinks!  And it’s not so healthy to breathe.

When a potential buyer walks into a home and they smell “stinky” at the front door, they will typically turn and leave.  It’s interesting that buyers are reluctant to tell you that smell was the reason they were not interested in a home.  Must be they just want to be polite?  Know this – if YOU smell it, THEY smell it.  And if they said nothing about the smell, they were just being polite.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that every chimney be cleaned and inspected annually. Interestingly, the EPA makes the same recommendation, though the EPA is more concerned about indoor air quality than fire safety.

Your chimney should be cleaned and inspected yearly.  Choose a CSIA chimney technician who will clean the system thoroughly before each inspection.  After cleaning, there are two different inspection types, a Level 2 Inspection and a Level 1 Inspection.

During a Level 2 Chimney Inspection, your CSIA technician will visually inspect the bottom of the chimney system at the fireplace (or firebox).  In accordance with the CSIA standards of practice for a Level 2 Chimney Inspection, the tech will also inspect the chimney system from the attic and roof if there is access, often using a drone if safety requires.  Also during a Level 2 service, your CSIA chimney technician will inspect the inside of the flue using a “Chim-Scan” video camera.  The ONLY way to inspect this inside area is with a “Chim-Scan” video camera, because only a specialized video camera will fit inside the flue, inspecting it from firebox to chimney cap, checking for problems that can’t be seen otherwise.

The Level 1 Chimney Inspection does not include use of the “Chim-Scan” video camera – it’s simply a visual inspection of all accessible areas.

Either of these chimney inspection services will document the condition of the chimney cap and chase cover – if damaged or defective, the tech can offer suggestions on repair or replacement.

If the condition of your chimney cap, chase cover, or firebox looks bad to you, it likely looks bad to a potential buyer.  And as well all know, bad news does not get better with time!

For all your chimney questions, inspections, and cleaning, we trust Chimney Champions – and you can too!  Call them today at 904-268-7200 or visit