You make the call?

Explain why.

Here is an additional photo.

What did the footing look like for the chimney, I would definitely call this out. The separation just from the point of the photos is rather scary,. What did this look like from the inside? A call out at minimum for a qualified masonry contractor or Structural PE.

Footing seemed OK. This is an exterior chimney how can you check from the inside.

The added picture is not the one in the post. I had to make sure this was no longer in use. As you can see it doesnt vent to the outside.

What are the requirements when an exterior chimney is used for the HVAC/Tank? Does it have to have a liner?

If it was for an FP you could look up the flue, but since it is for HVAC, a flue liner would help. But first it will need to be determined as to why it is pulling away from the building, if that were to collapse, not to be an alarmist, it could kill someone if it were to fall.

you would be asking for it if you didnt call it out. It may have been this way for 30 years but that isnt for us to decide. at any rate, I wouldnt want the gap between the house and chimney even if it fine structurally.

are those brick ties in photo #2? if so, it looks like the ties stayed fastened to the house and slid out from the masonry!
call it out. the masonry should have been tied back to the wood studs with metal brick ties. movement is unacceptable. (fix might include tear down and rebuild) hardhat area.

Be careful reporting “chimney pulled away from house” unless you are sure that it is not the house that moved.

Especially on log homes, the most frequent cause is that the house pulls away from the chimney as the logs dry out.

Further review needed.

Building codes require that masonry chimneys be constructed with at least a 1-2" clearance to combustible materials. Clapboard siding is a combustible material and the clearance from the chimney to its surface is mandatory.

R1001.15 of the 2003 International Residential Code and R1003.18 of the 2006 International Residential Code both state:

The ‘ties’ you see are likely for horizontal anchorage of the chimney.

Seems to me that the chimney is constructed properly and that the ‘gap’ to the structure is intentional and required to be there.

Nothing wrong with the chimney.

I voted ‘satisfactory’.

the soffit should also have the 1" space.

the gap needs to be closed, tho. i’m unsure how that is typically done.

If the gap were larger at the top than at the bottom, or if the chimney itself were not perfectly straight, I would be concerned. If the chimney is tied to the house at certain intervals, then I see nothing wrong with it as shown. One might want to close the gap for cosmetic reasons, and there are several ways to do that…wood trim, metal angles, etc.

trim is allowed to cover gap

Chimney Space.jpg

How in the world can you quote code on something that was probably built before the code came into effect?

How in the world can you ASSUME that ‘code’ was not in effect at the time of construction?

Simple answer: You can’t.

But since this case study occurs in Ohio, and since Ohio utilizes the International Residential Codes, it’s a pretty safe bet there has been *some *code oversight over the construction of this chimney even if that oversight was under the obsolete BOCA codes.

Irrespective of ‘Code’, however, what is captured in the initial photos iabove is very ‘normal’ and a standard practice for masonry chimney construction anywhere.

Clearances need to be maintained to combustible surfaces from masonry chimneys as shown in the photos no matter what the local ‘code’ requires and regardless of jurisdication.

Masonry chimneys should also be anchored to the structure every so many feet vertically to stabilize them. More anchorage in active seismic zones.

Bottom line:

There is absolutely NOTHING “wrong” or “unusual” about the construction of this chimney apart from what the codes say.

What appears is common, safe, and normal masonry chimney construction practice.

Level 2 review should be recommended to be conducted prior to closing at a minimum.

Joseph Hagarty said:

I inquire:

What does this mean and why should we pursue it?

Since there is NOTHING wrong with the chimney installation, why should a 'level 2 review" be required of something that is perfectly Code compliant and otherwise perfectly construction worthy?

Level 2 Inspections
– A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include a change in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth inspection than a Level 1 inspection.

Recommended due to Change of use of the Chimney structure as well as pending Sale of the Property.


I don’t see any type of “level 2” change at all in this case, do you?

What I see is a perfectly legal masonry chimney with no constraints whatsoever…

"a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property"

Has been the NFPA Standard since January 2000.

I would also never describe a Chimney as “Perfectly Legal”…"[FONT=Verdana]with no constraints whatsoever" and “Code Compliant” based upon a single photo. [/FONT]