View Full Version : insulated chase

Jim McClendon
07-25-2007, 06:25 PM
Seeing the insulation (paper toward the firebox) made me a little nervous today. Or is that normal?

David Banks
07-25-2007, 07:44 PM
I use comments such as this.
: Most manufacturers have this warning on paper face of insulation. Kraft or foil facing will burn. Do not leave exposed. Can result in injury or property damage. Facing must be installed in substantial contact with an approved ceiling, wall or floor product. Do not place insulation within 3 inches of light fixtures or similar electrical devices unless device is labeled for contact with insulation. Use only unfaced insulation between wood framing and masonry chimneys. Do not use insulation in spaces around metal chimneys, fireplaces or flues.

Dale W. Feb
07-25-2007, 08:24 PM
All clearances requirements on these metal fireplaces, chimneys and vents clearly state “AIR SPACE”. Without the air space the heat is captured. The insulation does a better job of capturing the heat due to it value. This condition may result in overheating, heat migration and ultimately a structure fire.

Now that the fire has started, how do we control the spread? Better write up that missing fire block barrier. You as a home inspector should not be able to see this area if the fire blocking was complete. This is again a very good reason to call for a Level II inspection. If the barrier was complete (like many are) this condition would have gone undetected until the fire. Believe it or not, these are easy fires to determine based on the fire patterns and damage on the protected and unprotected materials. This is where the insurance company starts to ask, “who has been here lately?”

Fuel for thought,

Jim McClendon
07-27-2007, 07:09 PM
Thanks David...Thanks Dale.

Dale W. Feb
07-27-2007, 09:39 PM
This brings up another question. What if you see a situation where the wall insulation is shifting but has not yet reached the clearance area of the chimney pipe of fireplace? Would you write it up or ignore it?

Fuel for thought

Mike Pearson
07-28-2007, 03:56 AM

Pssst, Your missing a "s" in professional.

Mike P


Dale W. Feb
07-28-2007, 07:41 PM
Thank you Mike. That was not very professional of me was it? Can I take one from your Pssst? I'll take your s and raise you two more. Now I have two pair, "S"es and "O"s. This message board is always a gamble.

Mike Pearson
07-28-2007, 08:09 PM

No problem.:cool:

I put the extra "S" in there just in case you wanted to take one.:)

I received your FIRE Service package today. I will look it over this weekend. Thanks.

Mike Pearson
Lighthouse Building Inspections
President Gulfstream ASHI Chapter

bruce m graham III
07-29-2007, 05:16 AM
Fire service packet? Is this something for a class or extracurricular material. If you can can you send me some info, always wanting to learn the right way of things. I find a lot of new construction where the flue pipe is not connected or is being installed upside down.

Phillip Stojanik
07-29-2007, 06:10 AM
Seeing the insulation (paper toward the firebox) made me a little nervous today. Or is that normal?

Not normal and definitely not good. Kraft paper facing aside, it is not good to fill the required "air space" with an insulation product. This only serves to concentrate heat rather than let its dissipate naturally (via gravitational airflow patterns that serve to keep combustion temps below the level of combustion/ignition).

And who forgot the firestopping above?

Once push comes to shove and the fire has already been started, how do we get out of the building alive?

First we make provisions to prevent fire as best we can. Secondly we make provisions to smother/slow the spread of the fire. Thirdly, we provide an early warning system that apprised the occupant that a fire exists. Fourth, we provide emergency escape and rescue openings.

That is the minimum building code that is much embraced/disparaged. Fithly, we pray that all the levels of reduncancy built into the "minimum" building code actually work and that we and our loved ones "make it out alive".

This is true whether its a public high occupany building or a single family residence. Each life is afterall precious.