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The CSIA Levels Of Inspection
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is responsible for the certification of chimney sweeps and requires all technicians to pass a test before they are certified to perform chimney work. This same regulatory body has laid out 3 levels of inspection for chimney sweeps to perform, depending on the relative health of the chimney system.
Level 1 – This is the most basic and least comprehensive inspection. This is a visual inspection of the readily accessible parts of your chimney system. These areas include the fireplace, firebox, damper, flue opening, and exterior of the chimney that protrudes from your roof. During this inspection, no part of your chimney system needs to be removed. This is a common inspection when conducting seasonal cleaning that is repeated every year.
Level 2 – A level 2 inspection is similar to a level 1 inspection, only it is more thorough. It covers everything that is covered in a level 1 inspection, but examines the interior more closely. A level 2 inspection involves the use of a camera, which is run up the entirety of the inside of the chimney. Level 2 inspections are recommended before making any changes to your chimney system, when you have experienced a chimney issue, and before you buy a property with a chimney system.
Level 3 – A level 3 inspection is the most thorough of the chimney inspections. This covers everything that is involved in a level 1 and level 2 inspection, but also involves the removal of parts of the chimney system in order to access concealed areas of the chimney. This is usually the result of something found during a level 1 or level 2 inspection and is rare. Only around 1% of chimney inspections performed fall into this category.
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