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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2

    Default Chimney Jack Introduction

    Hi fellow inspectors. This is Jack King in Los Angeles. My company, King Fireplace has been inspecting and repairing chimneys in L.A. County for 30+ years. Your chimney-related questions are welcome...and I still have a few of my own.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2

    Default Los Angeles Chimney Crickets - yes or no?

    A chimney cricket is required by 'code' on all chimney wider than 30" on the up roof side.
    Most original brick chimneys on older homes have them. City Inspectors seem to ignore the code on newer prefab chimneys. Like draft stops and vented chase covers, some LA inspectors ignore this little detail.

    Practically, it seems to me that a cricket would be most needed where snow and ice can be trapped against the chimney forcing leaks - not a problem in L.A. Mostly what I find behind wide chimneys are dry leaves that blow away in the first good wind which are frequent.

    Thanks also to fairly frequent quake and after shocks, gaps forming between flashing or crickets are not uncommon. Patching flashing is a lot easier than reshaping and bent up cricket.

    We have a lot of tile roofs in the city. Tiles on 20's & 30's houses are more fragile than fine china tea cups. Few roofers are willing to 'just' install a cricket on 20's tile roofs. The tiles need to be taken up from the chimney to the roof ridge and then relayed without breaking any.

    (Side Note: With dismaying frequency, I find a trail of crushed tiles leading from some distant point on the roof to a satellite dish bolted to a chimney where it can cause the fireplace to smoke.
    From this I have learned two lessons. 1. On tile or Calshake roofs I always take pictures before I climb onto them. 2. I always take pictures of my own roof and show them to antenna installers before they trudge across my handmade tile, beer can aluminum, slate or Calshake roof.)

    In my chimney inspections I do call out missing crickets, but I don't see them as a high priority. Apparently neither do our local building inspectors...unless you get on their wrong side.


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