Chimney Issues for Gas fireplace?

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New Member
Jan 27, 2020
Hi. We bought a house a couple of years ago (house was built in 1901) that has a wood-burning fireplace in it. During the inspection process, we paid for a level 2 inspection, and that came back stating that there is some mortar decay/separation in the internal flue and that there is some longiitudinal cracking in the internal flue as well as some exterior mortar decay (we have some photos in the inspection report). The sellers had their own chimney person come out (not a level 2 inspection), and he stated that the fireplace is fully lined with terra cotta and is in great shape and has good draft. The sellers did have the exterior work done above the roofline, and fixed the firebox where needed and above the damper point. Unfortunately, it seems both companies that were used a few years ago are out of business, so I can't go back and ask questions!

We have not used the fireplace since we moved in since we were concerned about the differing opinions, but we have now decided we want to convert to a gas fireplace (vented). The chimney does run in the middle of the house, so it's not on an exterior wall. How much of an issue is the missing mortar on the inside with gas as long as we ensure the fireplace has good draft? What would be our best course of action? Do we need to pay for another level 2 inspection? Thanks!
In my mind, your inspections SHOULD be good enough, but if you are having a
Hearth Shop install your insert, they will tell you if it's safe or not.
The question of draft isn't even a factor if you install a Direct Vent (DV) unit.
There will be co-linear, or "twin" 3-inch, corrugated, flexible aluminum tubes
extending from the insert to the cap, within your chimney...
One will act as the intake, & one will exhaust the byproducts of combustion.
If your chimney is overly high, there COULD be issues with pilot flame agitation...