When reroofing residential buildings, roofing contractors
frequently encounter metal chimneys that pass through roof
assemblies. During reroofing work, the condition of an exposed
chimney portion can be assessed.
Chimneys are structures used to exhaust waste gases or
byproducts produced by combustion. In the case of residences,
combustion is created from a fire or appliance, such as a furnace
or gas-fired hot-water heater. Waste gases travel through passages
called flues, which are contained within a chimney. Because chimney
exhaust affects the safety and health of building occupants,
chimney construction is regulated by building codes. The codes
contain requirements for the inspection, construction and
maintenance of chimneys.
The 2003 International Fire Code requires the repair or
replacement of any corroded or improperly supported metal chimney.
If a roofing contractor believes a chimney needs repair or
replacement, he should tell the building owner.
Roofing contractors should be aware that chimneys are addressed
by several codes and codes sometimes refer to other codes. If a
roofing contractor is asked to replace a metal chimney, he should
refer to the 2003 International Residential Code (IRC),
2003 International Mechanical Code (IMC) and 2003
International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC). Metal chimneys are
referenced in IMC and IFGC, but both codes refer to installation
and construction requirements in the National Fire Protection
Association's (NFPA's) NFPA 211—Standard for Chimneys,
Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel-burning Appliances,
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