The duty to warn and a seller’s disclosure address different legal concerns but the types of potential hazards they cover can overlap considerably. While a duty to warn is designed to prevent physical injury (and subsequent legal action and damages), a seller’s disclosure is designed primarily to address a home’s value, both its selling price and its resale value.
Many inspectors consider it their ethical and even moral duty to disclose to all relevant parties any imminent hazards they discover in the course of an inspection. Some inspectors are required by their state’s licensing authority to report emergent hazards on pain of license revocation, especially if such hazards may result in physical injury. But inspectors don’t bear this burden alone. The obligation of disclosure also falls to the property owner.
What has been brought to my attention is the improper use of poured insulation around stainless steel liners. From my experience, correctly installing insulation mix around stainless steel liners (to get a zero clearance rating) is a next to impossible. Besides the fact that this installation is widely and incorrectly used, manufactures seem to be pushing installers towards this method.
Chimney liners are used to protect the inside of a masonry chimney from wear and tear caused by wet conditions. Moisture, over time, will cause decay and corrosion of mortar, clay, and brick liners. How? Moisture reacts with the exhaust gases to form an acid that slowly “eats away” at the chimney. Moisture also, can collect and seep into cracks, mortar and bricks. In colder climates, this moisture will freeze, expand and then thaw, thus causing chunks of the chimney to break and crumble.
One of the great misunderstandings in the world of woodstoves is how creosote fits into the picture. Contrary to popular belief, creosote is not an inevitable product of wood burning. Creosote forms when wood is burned incompletely, and is an indication of improper use, poor installation, or a poor wood stove design.