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QUESTION: We live in a 35 year old condo which has 27 Units arranged as 9 stacks with 3 units in a stack. Each unit has a  fireplace. The 3 fireplaces in a stack share a common flue. The flues are damaged and so the fireplaces can't be used.

We would like to close off the existing flue so the existing fireplaces can't be used  and put in gas or wood burning fireplace inserts in every unit. However, we have been told that our insurance company requires that the existing flue be totally removed. This by people who have pushed for replacing the flues, a long, messy and costly job.

We would like to know if  total removal is really a requirement for getting insurance or is shutting off the existing flues really satisfactory.

Is there some alternative that could be done, for example at each fireplace, that might well satisfy the fire safety requirements of the insurance company

If total removal is required, then how can we best remove the existing flues?

ANSWER: Hi Milt,

From your description, you will need to do a total replacement.  Just "shutting off the existing flues" is not sufficient for what you've described.

Thanks for using AllExperts.Com and good luck with your project.

Sincerely,
A. Bart Ogden, President
Home Safe Hearth & Chimney, Inc.
Wichita, KS
Voice 316-265-9828
Fax 316-633-4512
www.HomeSafeKS.com

CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep #2653
CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician #10
NFI Certified Wood Specialist
NFI Certified Gas Specialist
NFI Certified Pellet Specialist
NFI Master Hearth Professional
NFI Instructor
NCSG Technical Advisory Council Member
2011 White House Chimney Sweeping Team Member

Advice given is general in nature. Local laws and ordinances may govern and/or supersede the information and recommendations provided. Final determinations are the responsibility of a local professional with first-hand knowledge of the situation, and the AHJ.

Note: Dissemination, distribution or copying of any part of this email or its attachments is prohibited without the expressed permission of the sender.






---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mr. Ogden,

Thanks,

The first and the second floor level fireplace chimneys travel within their own one-hour enclosure up to the third floor ceiling level. At this point the individual enclosures open up to a common one-hour enclosure that includes all three fireplace chimneys. The one-hour enclosures for the first and second floor fireplace chimneys should have continued to the top of the chase structure (fourth floor ceiling level). (I assume the third floor one-hour enclosure does the same.)

Is it possible to have this existing set of flues removed from the roof or with minimal carpentry in the units or does it require massive breaking into the walls?

Milt Waxman

ANSWER: That depends totally on the construction of this location.  

We've done them both ways.  It just depends on the particular job.

Bart

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mr. Ogden,

Can you tell me of any companies in this area who are experienced in the first method: namely have this existing set of flues removed from the roof or with minimal carpentry in the units?

Is it permissible to show your replies to contractors I contact and to the other owners in our condo?

Thanks again,

Milt Waxman

Answer
I have no idea what companies are experienced in this in your area.

Yes, you can show my replies to contractors and other owners, with the understanding that I have not completed a site visit and advice given is general in nature. Local laws and ordinances may govern and/or supersede the information and recommendations provided. Final determinations are the responsibility of a local professional with first-hand knowledge of the situation, and the AHJ.

Sincerely,
A. Bart Ogden, President
Home Safe Hearth & Chimney, Inc.
Wichita, KS
Voice 316-265-9828
Fax 316-633-4512
www.HomeSafeKS.com

CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep #2653
CSIA Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician #10
NFI Certified Wood Specialist
NFI Certified Gas Specialist
NFI Certified Pellet Specialist
NFI Master Hearth Professional
NFI Instructor
NCSG Technical Advisory Council Member
2011 White House Chimney Sweeping Team Member

Advice given is general in nature. Local laws and ordinances may govern and/or supersede the information and recommendations provided. Final determinations are the responsibility of a local professional with first-hand knowledge of the situation, and the AHJ.

Note: Dissemination, distribution or copying of any part of this email or its attachments is prohibited without the expressed permission of the sender.

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Bart Ogden

Expertise

I can answer questions related to chimney and fireplace cleaning, construction and repair as well as questions related to the performance of chimneys and fireplaces. I can also answer questions related to clothes dryer vent cleaning and repair. Additionally, I can field questions related to masonry repair.

Experience


Experience in the area:
28 years experience in the chimney service/installation/repair field
President, Home Safe Hearth & Chimney, Inc. Wichita, Kansas

Professional Organizations:
Member, National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG)
Member, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
Member, Kansas Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps (KGPCS)
Member, Midwest Chimney Safety Council (MCSC)
Member, Kansas Association of Real Estate Inspectors (KAREI)
Past At-Large Director of the National Chimney Sweep Guild
Past At-Large Director of the Chimney Safety Institute of America
Past Secretary, National Chimney Sweep Guild
Past Secretary, Chimney Safety Institute of America
Member, National Chimney Sweep Guild Technical Advisory Council
Member, Chimney Safety Institute of America Certification Committee
Past Chairman, CSIA Chimney Safety Education Brochures Committee
Past Chairman, NCSG Nomination Committee

Publications:
SWEEPING Magazine, The Journal of Chimney & Venting Technoloty, A Publication of the National Chimney Sweep Guild
SNEWS, The Chimney Sweep News
THE KANSAS SWEEP, The Voice of the KS Guild of Professional Chimney Sweeps

Education/Credentials:
BA, Wichita State University
C.S.I.A. Certified Chimney Sweep
C.S.I.A. Certified Dryer Exhaust Technician
N.F.I. Woodburning Specialist
N.F.I. Gas Specialist
Chimney Diagnosis & Documentation Seminar
Ahren's Masonry Restoration School Graduate
Advanced Gas Certification
Master Gas Certification
Licensed Mechanical Contractor
Pellet Appliance Specialist
Venting Design Specialist
Dale Carnegie Course Graduate

Awards and Honors:
Superior Dealer Award, Ventinox Chimney Lining Systems

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