I bought a 1925 built house last year. When we got it we had a chimney
guy come out and fix the top and check it. He re built the top of the
chimney and said we are good to go. I asked about it being lined and
he said it was fine.
This year I had another company come out with a camera. They cleaned
the chimney and ran a camera. The smoke box is just brick. Seemed like
an issue but he said it was still ok. Above that there is the original
terracotta liner (rectangular). Some places where the terracotta
section meets another there are gaps where some of the mortar is
missing. Not a hole just a depression. The largest was about the size
of my index finger, length and depth (average adult male). Meaning I
could lay my finger in the groove and it would fit perfect. Only one
of the gaps is that large and most places the grout or whatever it is
Basically we had one guy say its fine another say its a fire hazard
and it would be $5000 to repair it.
1. How dangerous is it? Small fire risk and keep using it, or oh my
god the house is going to burn down anytime if you use it.
2. An estimate for a 4 foot smoke box and 20 foot high chimney
relining does $5000 seem high?
3. Most importantly can I use it through the holiday season? I used it
all last year and since its been cold this year.