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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Undisclosed Chimney Leak

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Ohio

    We had the usual $450 inspection prior to closing on the home. At that time, the inspector mentioned we had a fairly new chimney cap with all new cement around the tile flue. Great! No leaks for years to come. Wrong! I have lived here now for 6 months, and since week 2 have been receiving large amounts of wet weather. Each storm brings waterfalls down the chimney. Now at first, I noticed a couple drops here and there and played it off as saturated mortar and bricks. But a month ago, I removed the ugly gold fireplace cover and have since recognized the full waterfall with each storm. I feel the inspector here did his job. I feel the sellers failed to disclose this amongst many other issues. Before i begin contracting repairs, do we think I have a case to seek compensation from the sellers? The only things disclosed were the front door weather stripping leaking but was already repaired, and radon that was already mitigated. They failed to disclose several plumbing issues, double hung windows with broken sash pivots, enclosed loft repairs, some major leak into the garage, rotting deck repairs, etc. A lot of these I can and am willing to fix understanding home ownership, but the chimney will be a hefty dollar.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Undisclosed Chimney Leak

    I got a sample of the disclosure statement off the internet.

    Question D on Page 2 makes it clear that he had to have disclosed previous water leakage and any repairs.

    If he lied about that and the other items you might as well go after him for all of the lies, not just one.

    I suggest you get estimates for the repair of everything he lied about and present them with a demand for payment.

    If he doesn't pay you'll have to decide whether to sue him or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Undisclosed Chimney Leak

    Quote Quoting HoneyBear
    View Post
    At that time, the inspector mentioned we had a fairly new chimney cap with all new cement around the tile flue.
    A new chimney cap doesn't mean that the bricks above the roofline were replaced. Old brick acts like a sponge and wicks water through them when wet.

    There are products that treat old brick and stops the wicking of water. I know because I was about to have my chimney re-bricked for the same problem when an honest mansion told me he could fix it for about $100 using a product that seals the brick. And after treatment, you couldn't tell that anything was done but the leak stopped. It's been 8 years now and it still is water tight.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Undisclosed Chimney Leak

    You still have to show that the previous sellers knew there was a problem. Just because an apparent repair was done doesn't mean there was knowledge of a prior leak. Maybe they just had issues of birds getting in the flew (common around here if you don't have a screened cap). Same with the other things.

    Unfortunately, you've learned that home inspectors are pretty useless. Their weasel-worded contracts bars them from liability of anything even if it was patently obvious. The first thing you should have done when they reported sign of repair was to find out if it fixed the problem. It's pretty common to see such repairs not fix things. I've seen whole roofs redone only to find it was the glazing in the skylight that was leaking for example.

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