Home Inspectors vs. Chimney Inspectors

When you are buying a new home, one of the things you must do is hire a home inspector to check everything out to ensure there are no problems before you purchase the house. Typically, a home inspector will examine the foundation, the plumbing, and the heating and cooling system. Many homebuyers mistakenly believe that these inspections include an examination of the fireplace and chimney; however, home inspectors are not required to even look at your chimney and venting system. To be certain your potential new home has a fireplace and chimney that function properly and safely, you will need to call a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technician, such as our professionals at Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists. We would like to explain to you the differences between a home inspector and a chimney inspector so that you can see why it is so essential to have a professional chimney inspection before purchasing a new home.

Home or Chimney Inspection - Greenville SC

What exactly are home inspectors required to check out in their inspections?

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a home inspector is there to perform a visual inspection and deliver a written report of the condition of a residential property for the buyer and the seller. ASHI has a Standards of Practice, which has established uniform guidelines for home inspectors to follow. Many home-buyers are surprised to learn that, within these Standards of Practice, it actually states that home inspectors are NOT required to inspect the interior of flues and chimneys. A good home inspector will actually say in the report that you should have the chimney cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney professional.

What is involved in a professional chimney inspection?

In January 2000, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) defined three different levels of chimney inspections and adopted these levels into its code NFPA 211, the Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances. When you are buying a new home, the NFPA requires a Level 2 inspection of the fireplace and chimney. A Level 2 inspection includes the more simple Level 1 inspection, which is a visual check of your chimney to look for blockages, creosote and soot buildup, and any damage. What makes a Level 2 inspection more detailed than a Level 1 is the use of special tools, including a video scanner, and an examination of your roof, attic, and crawl space.

When would I need a Level 3 inspection of my chimney?

If the home has experienced a chimney fire, you would then be required to have a Level 3 inspection performed. Our certified professionals at Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists can tell if the chimney has experienced a fire during our Level 2 inspection. A Level 3 inspection is much more complicated and detailed as it can require the tearing down and rebuilding of the walls of the chimney. Safety is always the top priority when it comes to a professional chimney inspection.

Buying a new home? Get in touch with Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists to schedule your chimney inspection.

By David Kline | Tagged with: Tags: , , |