How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Why does the house have a chimney but no fireplace?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

There are several reasons why a house could have a chimney without having a fireplace. Here’s a few that we have encountered:

  1. Early furnaces had a small, brick utility chimney, often square. It has been abandoned and the bottom part covered over in the walls of the home. Here’s an example of one below.


  2. The original brick utility chimney has been reused as the last part of the flue assembly for a newer gas furnace. If you look in the furnace closet, you will see the metal flue from the furnace entering the side of the brick chimney.


  3. An original fireplace has been abandoned and firebox has been filled in. Sometimes the mantel/surround remains as a decorative feature in the home, or all interior evidence of the fireplace has been removed.    Occasionally, we find the remains of a fireplace in a home’s attic. The bottom part has been walled-in and the top part has been demolished to just below the roof line, to eliminate a roof penetration that’s no longer necessary. The bricks in the attic are a souvenir of the home’s history.

   In all of the situations where the chimney still penetrates the roof, the chimney penetration still needs to be adequately flashed and waterproofed. Also, the rain-cap and spark-arresting screen should still be in place and in good condition. The screen is necessary on even an abandoned chimney, to keep bats and birds from roosting in the chimney.

    Also, see our blog post The fireplace doesn't have a chimney. Is that alright?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about FIREPLACES AND CHIMNEYS:

 Is a gas log lighter dangerous?

What is the 3-2-10 rule for masonry chimneys? 

What causes black soot buildup on my gas fireplace logs?

Why is creosote buildup in a chimney dangerous? 

Why is the chimney leaning away from the house? 

How is a factory-built fireplace different from a regular fireplace? 

    Visit our FIREPLACES AND CHIMNEYS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.


Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

"What Are The

Signs Of..."

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Sinkholes

Stairs

When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes

Site

Shingle Roofs

Safety

Stucco

Remodeling

Wind Mitigation

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home

Inspector...?"

Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."

Radon

Brick

Plumbing

Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs

Foundations

Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Condominiums

Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile-Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil

Insurance

Floors

Insulation

Toilets

Exterior Walls

& Structures

Generators

Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers

Electrical

Kitchens

Doors and Windows

(placeholder)

Cracks

Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Appliances

Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.

Bathrooms

Lighting

AFCI, CAFCI,

DFCI, & GFCI

Sinks

Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size

Attics

Electrical Switches

Siding

Search

This

Site

Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete

(placeholder)

Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

About Us

(placeholder)

Wells