We Offer Comprehensive Chimney & Video Inspections
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) — the organization that developed the standard by which professional chimney technicians conduct inspections — recommends that chimney systems, including fireplaces and vents, be inspected each and every year. That’s a general rule of thumb — and a good way to ensure that you’re staying on top of how well (or how poorly) your system is performing.
Who Should Perform A Chimney Inspection?
It’s important that the technician inspecting your system know what to look for and provide a thorough and detailed assessment. Unfortunately, not all inspections are created equal — to ensure that you’re getting an accurate assessment of your chimney’s condition, have your system inspected by a CSIA- certified chimney sweep.
Where Can I Find A CSIA-Certified Sweep?
What Are The 3 Levels Of Inspections?
A level 1 inspection is a pretty typical inspection, in which the technician takes a look at all easily- accessible areas of the chimney and appliance. The technician will also check the flue for any obstructions. This level of inspection is pretty standard and is always included with an American Chimney & Masonry chimney sweeping. A level 1 may be fine for your yearly inspection – as long as nothing has changed in your system or its use (although if you’ve replaced an appliance with a similar one, a level 1 inspection may still be sufficient).
A level 2 inspection is a bit more involved and includes everything in a level 1 plus an inspection of all accessible:
- attic spaces, basements and crawl spaces
- parts of the chimney’s exterior and interior
- parts of the appliance
- areas of the chimney connection
During a level 2 inspection, we’ll also use a video scanner to evaluate the condition and appropriateness of the flue liner, from top to bottom. Finally, we’ll check for proper clearance from combustibles (where possible) and proper construction and design. Typically, level 2 inspections are recommended when a system is experiencing problems, or some sort of change is being made/has been made (for example: a change in appliances, fuel types, or liners; real estate transactions; or if a sudden occurrence or other damaging event may have affected your system).
A level 3 inspection is only recommended when a level 1 or level 2 inspection simply won’t cut it. During a level 3 inspection, the technician may have to remove things like siding and walls in order to have an accurate assessment of the chimney system’s condition.
How Do I Know Which Inspection I Need?
The NFPA’s set procedures for the 3 different levels of inspection are designed to cover all circumstances. Be sure and inform us of any potential areas of concern within your system so that we can recommend the most appropriate inspection. Our technicians will help you decide which level is best, based on your individual situation and needs.
How Many Inspections Should I Schedule A Year?
Every fireplace, chimney and vent should be inspected at least once a year. If your system gets year-round use, you may require more frequent inspections. Additionally, an inspection should be conducted before buying a home, before making any changes or repairs, and after any sudden occurrence.
What Does A Video Inspection Entail?
With video scan technology, we are able to see parts of your flue that would otherwise be essentially unreachable. When we conduct a video scan, we lower the camera down into the chimney (or push it up into the chimney) and view the footage in real time (with you, if you’d like) on a TV monitor. The great thing about video scan is that it allows us to view the length of the flue up close and without any destruction.
Call Us, Today!
If your chimney system has undergone a sudden occurrence (like a fire or a lightning strike); you are buying or selling a property with an existing chimney; or you simply need to schedule an annual inspection, give American Chimney & Masonry a call or click here to schedule online! Reach us at 503-644-0393.