Condo built in 2000. Now this gap should have a storm collar or sealed in some way, correct? I realize that this may be a stupid question or it may be possibly a chance to learn something new, just wanted to make sure there’s nothing I’m missing. I can’t believe that it would be like this for 9 years and have no signs of moisture damage in the fireplace.
There may not be any visible damage to the readily accessible areas of the fireplace but can you peer down into the chimney chase from inside the attic? Typically, the water will run down the flue pipe to the base area around the fireplace inside the enclosure. I have on occasion found roofing shingles, insulation, old lumber, piles of sawdust in these areas. To answer you question, yes, it is supposed or required to have a weather collar or “rain skirt” around the flue just above the gap where the pipe goes through the terminal cap. I also occasionally find these missing, apparently left off by accident from the time of construction or have been removed and not replaced for unknown reasons. I would write it up and indicate there should be some further investigation in the form of a Level II or even a Level III inspection by a CSIA certified chimney inspector. Were the firestops missing as well?
Yes there should have been a collar or at the very least a sealent designed for this application.
They must have thought that the over hang of the cap would prevent any rain from entering.
If the flue leaves the fireplace from the rear, you may never see any damage until the flue rusts through.