Free Chimney Inspection Post Quakes

The Hurunui District Council is offering a FREE inspection service to homeowners who have unreinforced brick chimneys, in the wake of the prolonged series of earthquakes and aftershocks.

Building Team Leader, Kerry Walsh, says the council is not concerned with the around 400 properties where owners have lodged claims through the Earthquake Commission for chimney damage.

“In those cases the damage is obvious and action is being taken. The concern we have is where chimneys that may have not lost bricks or actually fallen may still have suffered damage their owners are not aware of.

“These chimneys may look just fine from inside the room and above the roof areas but that doesn’t mean they have retained their integrity. There may be issues inside the roof space itself and unless owners have gone up to check they may be oblivious to the potential danger.”

The Council is conscious there may also be hidden damage to other areas such as the brick fire wall or parapets.

“While we are already busy with earthquake consents and claims, with winter on our doorstep we need to be sure we have done all we can to ensure our residents can use their fireplaces safely during the cooler months.”

Anyone who has not checked or is unable to check inside the roof space and is at all worried about the integrity of their chimney in the wake of the earthquakes and aftershocks should contact Kerry Walsh to discuss their concerns.

Inspectors are only interested in issues around chimneys and other areas like unreinforced brick firewalls/parapets. They will not be looking at any cracking in either foundations or gib board or anything else that is not considered an immediate danger.

The Council is also fast tracking earthquake related building consents to help facilitate speedy and effective repairs for property owners in the district.

The building team is prioritising earthquake related consents with a view to finalising all the paperwork well within the required 20 day turnaround, assuming all the right information is provided.

This includes a guaranteed three day turn-a-round for all earthquake related wood burner consents (as long as all the information is provided at the time of application.)

It is the only authority making that guarantee in the region.

Fletcher Construction is responsible for ensuring clean heat sources are available to earthquake impacted residents in Hurunui, as part of the winter heating scheme, and to ensure all homes are made safe and secure.

For further information contact:

Kerry Walsh

Team Leader Building Controls

Hurunui District Council

P: 03 314 0056