Fireplaces are a wonderful feature in many homes. They provide heat as well as a comforting sense of home. But, just like any other part of the home, fireplaces and chimney systems require care and upkeep to ensure that they are functioning properly and safely. Chimney inspections are a great way to make sure that your chimney and fireplace system are working as they should.

How often should I inspect my chimney?

The National Fire Protection Association states that chimneys should be inspected and swept at least once a year. 

What should I expect during an inspection?

Chimney inspections typically follow a three-level format. Each level determines how in-depth the inspection will be. 

The Three Levels of Chimney Inspections

Level 1: 

A Level 1 chimney inspection is the standard base inspection. The chimney technician will examine the chimney to ensure that there are no structural issues, obstructions, or damage to the chimney system. This inspection covers the easily accessible areas of the chimney exterior, interior, and connections. A Level 1 inspection does not require specialized tools. 

Level 2:

Level 2 inspections are required when a change occurs within the chimney system. Such changes can include change of fuel type, shape or material in the flue (such as lining). Adding or replacing an appliance will also require an inspection. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required when selling or transferring a property. Malfunctions and damage caused by external factors such as extreme weather or building or chimney fires also call for a Level 2 inspection.

No specialty tools are required to perform a Level 2 inspection. However, it does include an internal visual inspection performed with video scanning or other means.

Level 3: 

A Level 1 or a Level 2 inspection may reveal hidden hazards. In this case, a Level 3 inspection will be required. Level 3 inspection involves specialized tools and may require the removal of some of the building or chimney to access problematic areas. 

Annual inspections ensure that your chimney system is operating properly.

Contact Sootmaster to schedule your chimney inspection.