Fire is dangerous. Historically it’s been used for heating for centuries. In addition, our ancestors knew the importance of ventilation and harmful gases produced by a fire. However, the chimney doesn’t only prevent your house from filling with smoke. It also vents carbon monoxide, soot, and particulate pollution from the home. Whenever a fire is burning, these materials are traveling through the chimney flue. Consequently, many of the denser materials cling to the sides of the flue. This material, particularly soot and creosote, can be corrosive to masonry over time. It’s particularly dangerous when combined with moisture. This is usually due to a missing chimney cap or other leak.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual CSIA inspections. This is to ensure the system is in proper working order and is at its safest and efficient. Even if you have had no problem with your system, you should still have it inspected. A level one inspection is appropriate for annual preventative maintenance.
Level One Inspection
The level one inspection is recommended for chimneys that have undergone no changes through the year. Also, when there are no plans to change the use of the chimney. This inspection includes an examination of all the readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior. Plus, the accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection. The certified chimney sweep should look for general soundness of the chimney structure and flue. Also, checking the installation and connections. While the technician does not clean the flue, he will verify it is free of obstruction and combustible deposits. Are you looking to have your chimney cleaned as well as inspected? If so, you should talk with your technician when he arrives.
Level Two Inspection
A level two inspection is required when there have been changes to the chimney system. This includes new appliances or a change in fuel, when the property ownership is transferred, or when the home experiences a catastrophic event like a tornado, earthquake, or fire. The inspection includes everything from a level one inspection, in addition to accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior. This includes attics, crawl spaces, and basements. The technician will address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations. However, they will not need special tools or demolition equipment to open doors, panels, or coverings in this inspection. You will get a detailed report because a level two inspection includes a complete video scan of the flue.
Level Three Inspection
If your technician finds areas of concern in the level two inspection, he will schedule a level three inspection. This inspection is more thorough. It includes removing certain components of the building or chimney to gain access to certain areas. This inspection is required when there are serious structural and safety concerns, but your chimney sweep will determine the problem and give you an expert recommendation.
The level three inspection sounds scary, to be sure. Removing parts of your house or chimney seems excessive, but a certified chimney sweep’s top priority is safety. When you put your chimney in the hands of a professional, you can rest assured that you’re getting exactly what you pay for. Schedule with Brickliners and get the added benefit of a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS). Call 802-872-0123 today!