Pressure testing is another method we use to assess how safe your chimney is. The test involves capping both ends of the chimney, then filling the flue with smoke. This is to establish if and where any leaks may be in the flue area. A pressure test should be done whenever an open fire is going to be recommissioned or for safety reasons when you have recently bought a house with a working open fire.
The sad truth is that older properties are prone to leaky chimneys. Living in the South Hams can be pretty tough for a chimney thats been exposed to the elements for over a century. They are constantly being damaged by the salty sea air on the outside and battling the corrosive soot on the inside. Due to this persistent onslaught, it is very common for mortar within the flue to come loose and in some cases entire sections of the mid-feathers to collapse. This can lead to the entire chimney to become structurally unstable and would require the collapsed section to be rebuilt or even the entire chimney stack. 9 times out of 10 this would not be noticed by a survey when buying a property.