Wilmington Man Accused of Making Dangerous Chimney Repairs

April 30, 2019

This week, NC officials have accused a Wilmington man of performing dangerous chimney repairs that may be putting people’s lives at risk, according to WECT.

The local chimney contractor, Ronnie Larocca, has posted dozens of videos of his repairs on social media, demonstrating work which chimney industry experts have claimed is unsafe.

National Chimney Sweep Guild President Jasper Drengler described it as “beyond sloppy.”

“In our industry, it’s really common to find work that’s isn’t up to code and isn’t quite right, but [Larocca’s] work is putting the lives of people and their homes in danger from fire, from carbon monoxide. He’s playing with people’s lives, he could potentially kill someone,” Drengler said.

Below are some of the concerns that have been raised, and tips on finding a professional, certified chimney contractor.

Signs of a bad chimney repair

Some of the concerns that have been raised about Larocca’s work include:

  • Flammable sealant – The State Fire Marshal’s Office has expressed concerned about the sealant which Larocca is using, a combustible, rubberized sealant that is being used to coat entire chimneys.
  • Unapproved chimney caps – In a report, the New Hanover county building inspector stated that the chimney caps Larocca uses “do not appear to be a listed product intended for use with this fireplace.”
  • Sealing off cooling mechanisms – The inspector also noted that many of Larocca’s modifications seal off the chimney’s outer jacket, trapping heat and creating a fire hazard.

Drengler said that many affected homeowners might not know there is anything wrong with their chimney repair until it is too late.

“Unfortunately, someone has to complain or get hurt or die before anyone takes action, and that’s just a shame,” he said.

Larocca, for his part, told WECT that jealous competitors were trying to “take him down.”

How to find a reputable chimney repair company

When it comes to something as potentially hazardous as your chimney, it’s crucial to find a certified, professional chimney company to take care of it. The easiest way to find a certified chimney sweep in North Carolina is to search the NC Secretary of State website. It is also usually wise to ask for testimonials from previous customers. You can also check the Chimney Safety Institute of America at CSIA.org.

If you are looking for a certified chimney repair company in Cary, Raleigh, Apex, Garner, or Holly Springs, call Nexus Chimney for a quality repair. We are also happy to inspect your chimney for a previous company’s mistakes that could put you and your family at risk!

To schedule your chimney repair estimate, fill out our form here.