WOOD cap over Chimney Flue!?!

Inspected a house yesterday with two fireplaces and a wood stove. 3 separate flues.

The one flue with a SS screened cover, also had what appeared to be a piece of plywood covering the top of the flue :shock: ! It also appeared as if the chimney had been used since the wood was put over it, because the wood appeared charred.

Can anyone explain to me why in the world someone would do this??

The only explanation that I can even begin to come up with is that it might have been a deliberate attempt at sabotage. The house had been foreclosed and sometimes people get a little ticked off when they are kicked out of their home and sometimes trash the home. Ironically, the rest of the home didn’t really appear trashed and I didn’t see any evidence of smoke damage.

So, I don’t know. Just plain bizarre!




That house would have been awfully smokey by the time the wood charred! It looks like an energy conscious owner sold to a buyer who didn’t believe in home inspections, and just decided not to use the fireplace after that first try.

Jim King

I’ve come across it once or twice,… I was taking a pic of the deteriorated mortar for the rain cap support but also notice the plywood in the flue. This was an old abandoned fire place,… but still made note of the blockage.

P.S. I also love getting up on third story roofs,… :shock: :wink:

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That’s possible. The wood may have just looked charred due to being weathered and then blackened from some soot having fallen down from the screened cover. The cover definitely had soot on it. I didn’t take off the cover to look closely at the wood, however, because for one thing it really didn’t matter, and two, the screws on the cover were too rusted.

Everybody here in the Panhandle had their roofs replaced after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. I did an inspection several months after Ivan rolled through and a new roof had been installed on the home. I went into the attic space and when I came out there was something nagging me at the back of my mind but I could not put my finger on it. I stopped halfway down on the ladder and looked down the hallway into the living room and then walked outside to re-look at the roof.

You guessed it—fireplace in the living room and no chimney on the roof. What had happened, I later found out, was that Ivan had knocked down the chimney and when the new roof was installed they simply covered over the chimney opening. The brick was taken all the way down to the living room ceiling and there was no indication from the attic that a chimney ever existed.

The MLS listing touted the beautiful fireplace in the living room and no mention in the listing or from the seller that the fireplace was totally unusable.

Needless to say that it was printed in bold block lettering in the report that the chimney was not usable and I also was sure to verbally tell the buyer’s agent and the buyer of the situation.

You never know…………