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Holmes Inspection Company
Kansas City Home Inspector

(816) 455-8787

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Dan Bowers @ Holmes Inspection Company

Ever crawl inside a fireplace and look up past the damper? Or climb up on your roof and look down the flue? There are some telltale signs that are easily identifiable that indicate you should hire a professional chimney sweep. For instance, if opening the damper leaves your face covered in soot, if you can run your pinky finger through the mortar and it falls out like sand, if you can pull bricks out above the roofline and re-align them like Lego® blocks, if you have charred wood in the attic touching the chimney…all of these are serious issues. Don’t laugh. As dangerous as these signs are, home inspectors see these issues too regularly.

Last year, there were 18,300 residential fires in the United States originating in chimneys, fireplaces and solid fuel appliances, according to the USPS (United States Consumer Product Safety Commission). These fires resulted in 160 personal injuries, 40 deaths and $158.2 million in property damage.

Below are a few indicators that you have a problem and need to hire a professional:

Unlined Chimney

Unlined chimneys are extremely unsafe due to the fact that they allow heat to travel through brick very fast. Wood touching the unlined chimney caught fire within only 3 ½ hours of testing. Because of this safety standards recommended all chimneys be lined.

Missing/Cracked Chimney Cap

If rain or snow can penetrate into the flue, then the liner is subject to extreme changes in temperature. Picture the high heat of the lined walls from the flue gases mixing with cold rain or snow entering from above. The end results are poor drafting that cools down the flue gases too quickly, eating away the mortar holding the inside of the liner together, and cracking of clay or concrete and rusting of metal.

Cracked Tiles

As viewed from the rooftop or from the firebox, any signs of cracked tiles indicate the chimney system has a breach. Cracked tiles are a result of extreme temperature changes, usually stemming from one of two sources: the chimney cap issue mentioned above or there was a previous chimney fire that luckily did not burn your house down. Note: chimney sweeps have hi-tech cameras they run the full-length of your flue that can view every inch of the inside.

Missing/Deteriorated Mortar in Masonry Chimneys

A clay liner is only as good as its mortar joints. If mortar joints are missing or the mortar is deteriorated, then you know you have a serious fire hazard. In the smoke chamber, if a mortar joint is missing, then the wall running parallel to your chimney may be the preferred path of your flue gases. If the symptoms are bad enough, you will actually be able to slide a screwdriver or sometimes even your finger through the mortar. All of which are fires waiting to happen! The solution is to either re-mortar the masonry OR install a metal liner inside the clay liner.    

Creosote Build-up

Creosote ignites at 451 degrees F. Wood stoves, wood or gas fireplaces, or gas log sets should burn efficiently between 250 - 500 degrees F. Chimney fires with heavy creosote build-up can easily reach temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees F. Fires at this extreme crack liners and easily engulf your home into uncontrollable flames.

Rotted Wood Touching The Chimney

Moisture from a roof leak usually due to inadequate flashing at the chimney and rotted wood drops ignition temperatures faster. With the right combination, the ignition temperature of wood touching a chimney can be lower than that of a piece of paper!

Previous Chimney Fires in Stainless Steel Liners

Not all chimney fires are noticed. Some burn themselves out, but the damage left behind is something you can’t ignore. Chimney fires inside metal liners heat the metal up to temperatures the metal was not designed to handle. Once those temperatures are reached one time, the entire UL listed metal flue liner is breached. Solution: replace the entire flue lining! The one true test if a fire has occurred in a stainless steel flue liner is if a magnet sticks to it. Stainless steel does not attract magnets. Stainless steel that has reached extreme temperatures and has had it’s metal composition changed does attract.    

Professional home inspectors look for these issues with chimneys everyday. However, even the best inspector will admit that their knowledge on chimneys is limiting compared to that of a Certified Chimney Sweep using a video scope camera inside the flue.

How Can We Offer a 100% Guarantee
On A Home Inspection?

It's easy. We're more thorough, which means we end up finding more defects than other inspectors. During your inspection contingency period you can negotiate with a seller to make repairs, lower the sales price or give you a credit at closing. So the more thorough the inspection is, the more you know AND the better prepared you are to negotiate and to save more money ($$$$).

We don't rush. We don't do more than 1 or sometimes 2 inspections a day, unlike many competitors that try to crowd in 3 OR 4 hurried inspections a day. We take the time to do a thorough inspection of your new home. This also means that we charge a little more than most of our competitors. 

You don't want a cheap inspection. A cheap inspection may be the most expensive thing you'll ever buy, it may cost you thousands of dollars down the road in unexpected repairs because of missed or overlooked defects. Cheap home inspectors often know less, have less training and do less, which is one reason they're so cheap. OR they are often brand new just starting out, AND trying to learn how to inspect on your new home.

This is an important step in your life and we understand that. We want to make sure you have an enjoyable inspection experience. Our 100% Guarantee is one more way to demonstrate to you our desire and commitment to meet and exceed your expectations.

There are NO gimmicks NO fine-print, no BULL. Here's the details and the easy-to-meet qualifications for the 100% Money Back Guarantee:

  • Client must be present and attend the full home inspection with us. If you are not satisfied with the quality of the home inspection service, tell the inspector before receiving the report and we make it right OR you don't pay the home inspection fee.
  • A signed "Informed Inspection" release form must be signed to initiate the process.

Dear Dan:

"We are writing today to indicate your claims experience with our limited warranty program offered nationally through home inspectors is absolutely perfect. Since you joined our program in 2003 and began providing the limited warranty to your home inspection clients, we have not received a single claim from any of your clients in those many, many home inspections you have performed during that more than 15 year period.

Generally speaking, most of the home inspectors we work with are well qualified Through training and experience, however your record is indeed outstanding and speaks directly to your high degree of professionalism in your chosen field. There are few, IF ANY, of our more than 2,400 inspectors around the country who can claim such a high degree of success in serving and protecting their clients in the home buying process.

You are to be congratulated and we are proud to be doing business with you."

Best regards ……….. Bev Kincaid (Insurance Claims Director)

USMC combat wounded

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The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find,
and The More Money You Save!

Play These Short Videos to Discover Many of the Shocking Things Uncovered During Routine Inspections in Kansas City and surrounding areas.

"Don't Get Stuck Buying a Money Pit!"

report homemade electrical

Electrical: Many homeowners have done their
own amateurish wiring and left a dangerous condition
that is a fire or electrocution hazard!

report homemade Termites

Termites: They feed on wood and are very destructive
to wood buildings. In the local Kansas City
are a they are very active.

 

report homemade electrical Chimneys

Chimneys:: Out of sight – out of mind.
Many people have damaged flues and don't even know it.
This is a fire waiting to happen.

report homemade electrical Stairs

Stairs : There should be NO gaps over 4" wide at stair rails.

 

report homemade electrical Mold

Mold:: Do you have constant colds, itchy eyes, headaches,
sinus or nasal problems. It could be caused by mold.
We are mold experts.

report homemade Roof

Roof : Without a careful inspection ALL homes
can have roofing defects that let them leak in the rain,
or give your insurance a way to deny coverage.

peace of mind

family okOur Certified Home Inspectors in Kansas City and surrounding areas will spend two to three hours thoroughly evaluating all aspects of the property you are purchasing, from the roof to the foundation and all areas in between...

We want you to come along with us during the course of the home inspection. Okay, if you’re a seasoned home buyer it may not be as important that you’re there the entire time.

However, if you are new to the home buying process, it’s very important that you’re there from start to finish.

We’ll not only inspect the house you’re buying, but we’ll share with you what needs to be maintained and why. You’ll get a real education about your new home.

Don’t worry, we’ll explain everything in terms you can understand. We are a “Jargon Free” Company!

We know your schedule is very hectic so we work hard to accommodate you! Because not everyone can attend the inspection during the day or week, we offer Saturday inspections.

Please know that our Saturday schedule is limited and on a first-come, first served basis. So please call now to let one of our schedulers know as soon as possible if you need a Saturday inspection. We’ll do our best to accommodate you!

One of the ways to judge the quality and professionalism of the work done by a home inspector is to take a look at their inspection report, so we have included one here for your review.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLE HOME INSPECTION REPORT [pdf]
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD "7 WAYS TO AVOID HIRING THE BLIND INSPECTOR" REPORT [pdf]

Not only are we Home Inspectors but we are also Licensed Residential Contractors and Certified Code Inspectors. Manager / Head Inspector Dan Bowers was one of only a few people approved to teach the State of Kansas's Home Inspector's Licensing course.

So ask yourself, WHO do you want inspecting your home for you – The Trainer OR the Trainee?

We know more about the "nuts and bolts" of how a house is put together than other companies. Contact us for your Home Inspection needs in the Kansas City Metro or surrounding areas.

See what makes us so different from every other inspector in the area. We use 2 OR more inspectors on ALL full Home Inspections. With our multi-inspector approach you get a more detailed inspection in less time.

 

 

certified inspection warranty

schedule real time 

24/7 Online Scheduler – Click below to Book Your Home Inspection – THIS IS NOT A QUOTE CALCULATOR

By using this online scheduler, you are truly scheduling an appointment with the information you are entering. When you select “Schedule This Inspection” at the end of the process, you will be confirming your inspection.

If you need to schedule an inspection please call our office at 816-455-8787 and speak with one of our Customer Care Coordinators.

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