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  1. #1
    Jon mackay's Avatar
    Jon mackay Guest

    Default Stone Chimney cap

    Is there a clearance requirement for chimney caps?

    Also, is this even allowed? I would think that a cap would have to be listed.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Orlando, FL
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    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    What's under the siding? Is that an old masonry flue/chimney assembly with a stone crown that someone covered up, or a pre-fab, "listed" flue assembly?

    Dom.


  3. #3
    Jon mackay's Avatar
    Jon mackay Guest

    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    It is a block chimney that has siding covering it.


  4. #4
    Jon mackay's Avatar
    Jon mackay Guest

    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    Some of the older portion of the house has stone which may have been the original chimney covering.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    Since the chimney itself isn't listed there is no requirement that the cap be listed. This cap, though, is so low over the flue it is likely to cause smoking/performance problems. Currently, NFPA 211 requires the underside of the cap to be a distance above the flue equal or greater than the lesser dimension of the flue. i.e 8 x 12 flue the cap lid would have to be 8 inches above flue. That requirement is new in the 2010 edition of NFPA 211 and prior to that there was no requirement for minimum height. 6 to 8 inches was a pretty widely accepted rule of thumb for minimum height above flue. In your picture it looks to be about 4 inches.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    The cap doesn't bother me. I've seen nice versions of that on may houses. My concern would be what's under the vinyl. Did they put the vinyl up because it was cheaper than having a bricky relay and point a very eroded chimney? What about roof to chimney flashing.
    I hope your report warns about potential problems under the vinyl, possible leaks and hidden factors.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  7. #7
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    Did the ridge board have to be cut to accomodate the chimney?


  8. #8
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    And putting vinyl siding over stone? What would induce someone to do that? Don't tell me they just like the look of vinyl.


  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Cool Re: Stone Chimney cap

    No 2" clearance to combustible siding. You don't wrap masonry chimneys with plastic siding.

    If NFPA 211 is an adopted code in your jurisdiction, you can refer to it as mandatory compliance. Otherwise, it remains a good reference or yardstick. The IRC does not address cap clearances.

    The bottom line is, it must be functional. It also must be "accessible" for service and inspection, which these will not meet so that is grounds enough to flag them.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    No 2" clearance to combustible siding. You don't wrap masonry chimneys with plastic siding.

    If NFPA 211 is an adopted code in your jurisdiction, you can refer to it as mandatory compliance. Otherwise, it remains a good reference or yardstick. The IRC does not address cap clearances.

    The bottom line is, it must be functional. It also must be "accessible" for service and inspection, which these will not meet so that is grounds enough to flag them.
    Bob,

    Also, isn't the flue tile supposed to be a minimum height above the chimney cap? Something like 2" minimum?

    Jon,

    Looks like the original facing for the chimney was removed and the vinyl siding installed, and the rough part of the concrete chimney cap is what sagged down between the original facing and the masonry chimney.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    Hopefully, a simple question.
    Inspection yesterday...the "new": home had two prefabricated "zero" clearance gas fireplaces with sealed doors. One had a decorative marble hearth and the other had carpet directly in front with no hearth. Is there a requirement for a non combustible area in front of these types of units????

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  12. #12
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Stone Chimney cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    ...carpet directly in front with no hearth. Is there a requirement for a non combustible area in front of these types of units????
    All of the manufactures installation instructions for the gas, zero clearance units (this is what they call them) installed in this area do not require any clearance for floor coverings.

    FMI fireplaces are the most used....and I can't think of the other manufacturer right now.


  13. #13
    Join Date
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    1,643

    Cool zero clearance term needs to go

    Please, for the love of God, erase that term "zero clearance" from your vocabulary. It has gotten more people into trouble than you can imagine. They are "factory built fireplaces" and "gas hearth appliances" for wood and gas respectively.

    All woodburners require some level of spark guard floor protection and usually a very specific thermal insulative protection. Gas Fps are tested basicially the same way but if the floor temps do not exceed 117F above ambient, they do not require floor protection. Those that entrain convective air usually pull a blanket of cooling air in across the floor cooling it. Radiant clean faced units would be more prone to needing floor protection. As with all factory built fireplaces, the need or exemption for floor protection can be found in the listed instructions.

    It is good to learn the units more prevalent in your area but you must be prepared to inspect any and all brands and models. That's another reason to take Dale Feb's FIRE courses.

    HTH,

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

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