The Importance of Chimney Inspections
Until very recently, expert inspection and evaluation of fireplaces, stoves or other venting systems were left up to the discretion of chimney specialists. Now, there are standards and codes established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regarding home heating appliances (NFPA 211).
Here is what to expect from your American Chimney Service technician for each level:
A Level 1 inspection is the minimum required for systems that are status quo – that are not changing and are in continued use under the same conditions. In a Level 1 inspection, our technician will examine easily accessed portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible components of the chimney connection. Your American ChimneyService technician will examine your chimney structure, flue, appliance installation, and connections as well as check for combustible deposits and obstructions.
A Level 2 Inspection is required when you make changes to your system, including changes in fuel type, changes to materials and shapes within the flue, or replacement of appliances. It is also mandatory when you buy, sell, or transfer property...or after a malfunction, fire, or forceful weather event. A Level 2 includes the requirements in a Level 1 inspection and may include a visual/video inspection to examine internal surfaces and flue liner joints. During Level 2, the technician explores accessible portions of the chimney, plus attics, basements and crawl spaces.
A Level 3 Inspection is warranted when hidden hazards are suspected. It includes all the items checked in Levels 1 and 2 and then goes beyond to access concealed areas of the chimney or flue. it is performed with special tools and may entail removing or destroying some permanent portions of the chimney or building, which will likely require masonry repairs.