Chimney Inspections

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends that all chimneys, fireplaces and vents be inspected annually. In addition to this requirement, there are other times when chimney and venting systems should be inspected:

  • After any unusual, or sudden occurrence event, such as a chimney fire, lightning strike, or earthquake.
  • Prior to purchasing a home with an existing chimney
  • Whenever changes are made to a chimney or vent system, including replacement of connected appliances prior to major system repairs.
Level 1 Chimney Inspection – $75

If your appliance or your venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system as you have in the past, then a Level 1 inspection is a minimum requirement. A Level 1 inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service under the same conditions and with the continued use of the same appliance. We include a Level 1 Chimney Inspection during every Chimney Cleaning.

In a Level 1 Chimney Inspection, our service technician should examine the readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. Your technician will be looking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and deposits.

Level 2 Inspection

A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include a changes in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (I.E. Relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operating malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth inspection then a Level 1 inspection.

Level 2 inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection, plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations. There are no specialty tools (i.e. demolitions equipment) required to open doors, panels or coverings in performing a Level 2inspection. A Level 2 inspection shall also include a visual inspection by video scanning or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners incorporated within the chimney. No removal or destruction of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure or finish shall be required by a Level 2 inspection.

Level 3 Inspection

When a Level 1 or a Level 2 inspections suggests a hidden hazard and the evaluation cannot be performed without special tools to access concealed areas of the chimney or flue, a Level 3inspection is recommended. A Level 3 inspection addresses the proper construction and condition of concealed portions of the chimney structure and the flue. Removal or destruction, as necessary, of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure will be required for the completion of a Level 2 inspection.

A Level 3 inspection includes all the areas and items checked in a Level 1 and a Level 2 inspection, as well as the removal of certain components of the building or chimney where necessary. Removal of components (i.e. chimney crown, interior chimney wall) shall be required only when necessary to gain access to areas that are the subject of the inspection. When serious hazards are suspected, a Level 3 inspection may well be required to determine the condition of the chimney system.
Video Inspection – Chim-Scan™ – $175

Using state of the art video inspection equipment, we can inspect the interior of your chimney for possible cracks in flue tile, gaps in mortar joints, missing bricks and any other problem we feel may be present. Many times, these defects are difficult to diagnose without the use of the Chim-Scan™.

This service is especially important after a chimney fire. We were called upon many times by local insurance company’s to video chimneys after Hurricane Fran. Using the Chim-Scan™ video scanner, we are able to see inspect the chimney up close on a monitor and record the video feed or capture images for any insurance claims if needed.
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