The Importance of an Annual Chimney Inspection

While the reasons for an annual professional chimney sweeping are obvious, many of our customers do not realize that their chimneys should also be inspected every year by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technician. The CSIA follows the chimney inspection guidelines set by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) code 211, which lists three levels of inspections. When Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists performs their annual sweeping of your chimney, a Level 1 inspection is included; however, if you have made any sort of change to your fireplace and chimney system, you will need a Level 2 inspection. If problems are discovered in these inspections, you will need a Level 3 inspection to allow us to look further into your chimney. We would like to share with you some of the things we look for in a Level 1 inspection to inform you how important a professional chimney inspection is for your fireplace and chimney system to work properly and safely.



Sitting at the top of your chimney, the chimney cap and/or crown serve to prevent water leaking down into your chimney, which can cause extensive (and expensive) damage to the bricks, mortar, and flue liner. If your chimney cap and/or crown is cracked or missing, Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists can custom install a cap or crown to keep the water out of your chimney.


If your chimney flue is damaged, toxic gases like carbon monoxide could be leaking into your home, which puts you and your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, a serious condition that can possibly lead to death. Cracks, rusted areas, blockages, and frost damaged flue tiles can lead to these leaks, and they can also put you at risk of sparks starting a residential fire. Not only do we look for this type of damage, but we also look for conditions that can cause rusting, cracking, breaking, and spalling of your flue.


Many times a chimney’s flue is disproportionately larger than the fireplace insert, and this can cause differences in temperature that can lead to large deposits of combustible creosote building up on your chimney walls, which puts you at risk of a house fire. If necessary, Chim Cheree can install a custom stainless steel chimney liner to solve these problems and make your fireplace and chimney system much safer.


If water has penetrated the bricks and mortar of your chimney, you could have extensive damage that can lead to unsafe structural problems. During the winter when the temperature drops below freezing, the water trapped in the bricks and mortar will freeze and expand. When the temperature rises back above freezing, the bricks and mortar experience spalling damage when the water thaws. If your exterior chimney needs masonry work, the experienced masons at Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists can repoint the mortar and replace the damaged bricks to restore the structure of your chimney.

Have questions about our professional chimney inspections? Contact Chim Cheree, The Chimney Specialists to find out more about what we look for while performing this important task.