$100 chimney sweep or $35,000 damage

In 2008, a chimney fire caused significant damage to a residence in La Sarre, Abitibi. When firefighters and the first expert arrived at the scene, they discovered that the chimney, installed in 1973, had serious deficiencies. The expert opinion shows insufficient lightness, the absence of a fire partition and too much mineral insulation in the sections of the chimney that do not require it.

The insurance company that paid for the repair costs after the fire is suing the builder, the carpenter, the residence for reimbursement. In her case, the fire was caused only by the poor installation of the chimney by the builder.

A battle of expertise

The manufacturer responds by calling in its own expert. In his report, this expert mentions a very advanced state of corrosion inside the chimney, which rather corresponds to a serious lack of maintenance. Instead of blaming the builder who installed the chimney improperly, the adjuster blames the various owners for not performing the annual inspection and sweeping of the chimneys as required. National Fire Protection Codees.

The debate will be clarified by the testimony of various residents of the residence. Not only was the chimney not subject to regular annual sweeping, but even a period of ten years could pass without minimal maintenance.

Carelessness that is expensive

The court concluded that the fire was caused by an excessive build-up of creosote clinging to the walls of the chimneys. The court added that although the installation of the chimney in 1973 was not carried out according to the rules of the art, the shortcomings of this installation cannot be considered serious defects. The real defect is rather the carelessness of the residents of the residence to have their chimney swept regularly. Therefore, the insurance company received no payment and only had to assume the cost of renovating the residence in the amount of $35,000.

Remember that annual chimney sweeping should not be considered optional. This is essential maintenance for your chimney, which will significantly reduce the risk of fire and also save you from potential legal problems. To avoid any risk, do not hesitate to contact your insurer to check your obligations regarding your chimney and inform them of any changes. It is better to be as transparent as possible to avoid problems with claims or even termination of insurance coverage.

Information text – This text does not constitute legal advice; it is recommended to consult a lawyer or notary about such an opinion. Éducaloi is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inform Quebecers of their rights and responsibilities in understandable language.

Leave a Comment