Level 2 Chimney Inspection

The last two posts in this series in regard to chimney inspections covered a bit of the history behind chimney sweeping as well as the Level 1 inspection, which is the minimum recommended by the National Fire Protection Association on an annual basis. You can refer to the NFPA Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances for further information and research. (http://woodheatstoves.com/free/NFPA211.pdf)

This post will continue with information for the Level 2 inspection. You might remember the Level 1 inspection was performed when circumstances surrounding the appliance did not change; Level 2 is required when there IS a change in the circumstances of the appliance OR when the Level 1 inspection was not enough to determine whether the chimney is safe and serviceable for use.

Here are just a few of the circumstances that would initiate a Level 2 Inspection.

  • An addition, removal or replacement to any part that is connected to the appliance
  • Prior to having a flue relined or replaced
  • When a property is transferred or sold
  • After a fire in the building or chimney
  • After any event that might cause damage to the chimney
  • When a Level 1 Inspection is not sufficient to determine serviceability of chimney

With a Level 2 inspection there is a certain amount of accessibility to the chimney and appliance that is not required in a Level 1 Inspection. This could include but is not limited to attics, crawl spaces and basements. Any area of the chimney and its surroundings will be inspected with the exception of those areas that would require removal or destruction of permanent parts of the chimney or structure. In other words, areas that can be accessed through doors or other openings without creating damage to permanent structures.

It is normally with a Level 2 Inspection that video cameras are introduced in order to inspect the chimney flues and liners though they can come into play with a Level 1 at times. Using a video camera also allows the technician to verify proper clearances between combustibles and the chimney as well as the proper flue sizing and materials for the particular appliance.

Proper flue sizes are different for solid or pellet fuel- burning equipment as opposed to gas appliances and liquid fuel appliances. You can rest assured that when a certified technician has completed a Level 2 Inspection you will have a complete report and know that your appliance meets the recommended requirements to keep your home safe.