Was Your Chimney Damaged By Fire Or A Lightning Strike?
To insurance companies, chimney fires, lightning strikes, earthquakes and other events are often considered “sudden occurrences”. If your chimney has suffered what insurance companies refer to as a “sudden occurrence” — such as a fire or a lightning strike – there’s a very good chance that your insurance company will cover the damages.
But in order to determine that the damage is indeed related to a specific event, you’ll need to have the system evaluated by a CSIA-certified professional. This will also be necessary if you’re to get the claims process started. Bear in mind, though: policies don’t generally cover damage that is the result of a lack of maintenance. Regular chimney inspections and cleanings can help you avoid that situation.
What Does A Post-Chimney Fire/Lightning Strike Inspection Check For?
Using video scanning technology and a variety of tools, we’ll assess the damage, checking for signs that may link it back to a “sudden occurrence”. As with a level 1 or level 2 inspection, we’ll take a look at all accessible areas, but may also need to remove parts of the chimney, the appliance or even the home. Of course, we won’t do any unnecessary demolition, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to identify the extent and source of the damage. Don’t worry — our expert techs have extensive experience with “sudden occurrence” inspections, and know all of the things to look for (like vertical cracks and puffy creosote in the liner, which are typically indicators of a chimney fire).
Is It Safe To Use My Chimney Post-Chimney Fire/Lightning Strike And Prior To An Inspection?
A chimney that has undergone damage (or may have) should absolutely not be used before being professionally inspected and approved for use. Each part of the chimney is designed to perform a specific function, and if any of those parts are damaged, lighting a fire could be incredibly dangerous and damaging. From masonry damage and chimney fires to carbon monoxide poisoning and house fires – a damaged chimney can lead to a whole host of problems.
American Chimney & Masonry Can Help!
If your chimney system may have been damaged by a “sudden occurrence,” give the experts at American Chimney & Masonry a call. We’ll do an in-depth inspection and answer any questions you may have. Call 503-644-0393 or click here to schedule an appointment!