Drafty Fireplace

I have an inspection coming up in the next few days. The client is concerned about a draft coming from the brick fireplace. Can anyone help me with what might be causing this? Is there a defect that I might be looking for? A common solution to this issue? Or is this a normal operating condition? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Also the chimney is lower than but approximately 15 feet away from a high part of the building.
Thanks in advance

The flue and/or fresh air dampers may be left open. They should be closed after the fireplace cooled down.

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Thank you, Iwill be sure to check that and inform my client.

a cold chimney can result in backdraft depending on weather conditions. Like Marcel said, use the damper, that is its purpose. also, if the house is of a tight construction and everything in the house is closed (windows, doors, etc…) with an exhaust fan turned on, you could be sucking in replacement air via the chimney. The house may need air make up intake in form of HRV or such. Too many unknowns.

Aside fromMarcel’s offering, they might try one of these:


A friend had a similar issue and this corrected it. :smile:

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That’s probably it. Most people think the 2 and 10 rule is about preventing embers from getting on the roof, but it’s really about getting a draw on the fireplace.


I assume that the buyer is talking about when the fireplace is not in use. If the draft is through the firebox, the damper is likely open or doesn’t seal well. Cold air will fall down the chimney (glass front may help). Don’t assume that the draft isn’t occurring around the perimeter of the fireplace, until you check it. Could be due to poor draft sealing at the material transition.

I would recommend a level II chimney inspection by a qualified chimney sweep.

https://www.csia.org/inspections.html (Chimney Safety Institute of America). and (the National Fire Protection Association)

a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction…

Thanks everyone. Very helpfull