Rampart General Pre-cast Chimneys
You may have heard of the Rampart District in west Los Angeles or the LAPD’s Rampart Division. But have you heard of Rampart General chimneys? If you haven’t, and if you live in California, this is the most important “Rampart” for you to know about.
Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace of Huntington Beach, CA, would like to share some vital and possibly life-saving information about Rampart General chimneys.
What Is a Rampart General Chimney?
A Santa Ana, CA, manufacturer called Rampart General used to make pre-cast chimneys and sell them throughout California. As years passed, many major flaws – some of them deadly – started cropping up in these prebuilt chimneys (see below).
The majority of Rampart General chimneys are found in homes constructed between 1965 and 1995. The company is no longer in business, so there is no recourse against them.
Chimney Inspection To Identify a Rampart General Chimney
If you’re buying a new home (previously built but new to you) in California, you need to have it inspected. This actually means two inspections: one for the home, overall, and one for the chimney system.
The Oliver Twist chimney inspection crew will immediately identify a Rampart General chimney in the home you’re looking at. You can spot this kind of chimney, too, if you know what to look for.
Rampart General pre-cast chimneys were made entirely in a factory from lightweight aggregate and calcium aluminate.
They’re all one piece and were literally stood up in place against an exterior wall of a home. In almost every case, their color is off-white, making it appear as if the “bricks” have been painted.
What most homeowners may not spot immediately is the fact that there are no bricks in this chimney system. It only looks as if bricks were used to build it.
A Level 2 chimney inspection, sometimes referred to as a “real estate chimney inspection,” will identify a Rampart General chimney. Why is this important? Because there are no lawful or approved repairs for these chimneys.
3 Main Problems with Rampart General Chimneys
Before we touch on the known problems inherent in many Rampart General pre-cast chimneys, we want to point out that other styles of manufactured chimneys from hearth-industry leaders are perfectly suitable and safe, provided there were properly built and installed. It’s just the Ramparts you have to watch out for.
Here are three of the main problems common with Rampart General chimneys.
- Cracks in the breast plate (insulation plate), which can easily lead to a house fire.
- Structural cracks often presenting as deep vertical splits in the pre-cast material and leading to safety and fire risks.
- Damaged flue lining that seems to originate during the horizontal construction process, making the flue completely unusable.
Video Camera Inspection
We’re not here to give you the complex and lengthy back story on Rampart General chimneys.
What we want to do is encourage you to make sure to schedule a proper Level 2 chimney inspection, which includes video imaging of the inner flue, before buying a home in California. This is particularly important if you’re looking within Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Call for a Professional Chimney Inspection
Chimney inspections are vital, whether it’s a chimney you’ve been living with for years or one in a home you’re thinking of buying. Don’t neglect this critical service!
Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace provides chimney repairs throughout Huntington Beach CA, Long Beach CA, Torrance CA, Anaheim CA, Santa Ana CA, Fullerton CA, Buena Park CA, Laguna Beach CA, Dana Point CA, and many more SoCal communities.
Reach a qualified chimney professional today at (714) 843-9944 or get in touch with our handy contact form.