What is the Chimney Inspection Process?

When you own a home with a chimney and fireplace system, you have the responsibility to follow a routine maintenance schedule that includes professional services like Man inspecting chimneyannual sweepings and inspections. Neglecting this responsibility can make it unsafe to use your fireplace because, without an annual chimney inspection, it can be impossible to know whether or not hidden hazards are lurking inside the walls of your chimney. Since 1978, Chim Cheree has been inspecting chimneys across the Upstate South Carolina region, and we are proud to be able to teach our customers so much about their chimney and fireplace systems during the inspection process. Our team of chimney professionals have found the value of showing our customers actual photographs of the insides of their chimneys during a face-to-face conversation about what we found during the chimney inspection. To help you understand the importance of this annual professional chimney maintenance service, we would like to answer some of the questions about chimney inspections that we have been asked most frequently over the past several decades.

What are the three different levels of chimney inspections?

Until a few decades ago, professional chimney sweeps had no set of standards to follow when inspecting chimneys, and this could be challenging for homeowners who had chimneys that were in need of thorough inspections. In order to standardize this important fire safety maintenance practice, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed requirements for three levels of chimney inspections for chimney professionals to follow when providing this service. Typically included with your annual chimney sweeping service, the basic Level 1 chimney inspection is what you need if you have not made any changes to your chimney and fireplace system since your last inspection. You can expect the readily accessible parts of the chimney’s exterior and interior to be checked out in this level of inspection as Chim Cheree makes sure your chimney is structurally sound and free from blockages and large creosote deposits. We will also examine your fireplace appliance to ensure it has been properly installed and connected to your chimney system. If you have updated your fireplace or made other changes to your chimney, you will need a more thorough Level 2 inspection. This level is also required when you are buying or selling a home or after an external event like an earthquake or a tornado, or an operational malfunction like a chimney fire has occurred that may have caused damage to the chimney. A Level 2 chimney inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection as well as the accessible portions of the interior and exterior of the chimney system, such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces. This level of inspection also requires that we use a digital camera during the inspection, which allows us to get an up-close look at every inch of your chimney interior. This also provides photographic documentation of any damage that may be found during the inspection so that you can give it to your home insurance agent or to your realtor, if needed. If we find evidence of a hidden hazard during a Level 1 or 2 inspection, we will recommend that we perform a Level 3 inspection. The most intrusive of the three levels, this inspection allows us to remove certain components, such as the crown or an interior wall, from the chimney to be able to determine the condition of your chimney. A Level 3 chimney inspection will only be recommended if we strongly suspect a serious hazard is present.

What can I expect from a chimney inspection from Chim Cheree?

When you make your appointment with us for your chimney inspection, we can recommend the level of inspection that your chimney needs, depending on your specific situation. On the day of your appointment, you can expect one of our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps to arrive on time to inspect your chimney. Once the inspection has been completed, you can count on us to show you pictures of your chimney as we give you a thorough explanation of its condition. Because we want you to be as informed as possible about your chimney and fireplace system, we will take the time to sit down with you and have a conversation about the ins and outs of your system. If we find any problems, we can show you the options you have and explain the advantages of each option. You will receive an email copy of the entire inspection that you can use it as a reference in the future for maintenance and repairs. You can trust us to treat you fairly and honestly throughout the entire inspection process, and we want you to understand exactly what kind of condition your chimney may be. Our expert team of chimney professionals can answer any questions you may have about your chimney and fireplace system, and we are always here to address any concerns about your system.

Has your chimney been professionally inspected this year? Contact us today to schedule your appointment for your annual chimney maintenance services with our CSIA-certified chimney professionals. No matter what level of inspection your chimney may need, you can count on us to take care of your system.

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