Fall has arrived, and winter is just around the corner. If your chimney has not been swept or inspected this year, now is the perfect time to do it. Taking care of annual chimney maintenance now can ensure your fireplace system is safe and ready to use for the long winter burning season.
What is a chimney inspection?
A chimney inspection is a diagnostic tool used to assess the condition, safety, and stability of your fireplace and chimney system. Conducted by certified chimney sweeps, inspections can also be used as a way to uncover the root cause of chimney issues such as odor or leaks.
The importance of chimney inspections
Chimney inspections are an important part of your chimney’s regular, annual maintenance. Because of this, all homes – no matter how often or how little their fireplaces are used – should have an inspection done every year.
“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”
One of the most important ways inspections help your chimney system is by identifying potential areas of damage. Because chimney deterioration, such as that caused by water entry, happens slowly over time, damage can often be minimized if it is spotted early.
Chimney inspections are also an important diagnostic tool in identifying the cause of and solving long term chimney problems. Leaks, drafts, or repeated animal entry are all chimney problems that an inspection can help resolve.
Three levels of chimney inspection
The National Fire Protection Agency created three standardized levels of chimney inspection. Your chimney sweep can help determine the level of inspection needed based on the type of system, condition, and maintenance history.
- Level 1: Level 1 chimney inspections might be the most basic, but they still provide a comprehensive picture of the condition of your chimney system. The sweep inspects all accessible interior and exterior portions of the chimney for signs of damage or deterioration and makes recommendations for repairs as needed. This is the standard level of inspection if the chimney has not been changed, damaged, or been experiencing performance problems.
- Level 2: Level 2 chimney inspections often use technology such as closed circuit cameras in order to conduct a more in-depth inspection. This technology can be used to assess difficult to reach areas of the chimney such as the inside of the flue. Level 2 chimney inspections are common in real estate transactions.
- Level 3: Level 3 chimney inspections are the most in-depth and invasive, often involving removing portions of the walls or chimney in order to assess damage. Because of this invasive nature, these inspections are only used in the event of chimney fires and other natural disasters.
Don’t delay – schedule today!
A chimney inspection is an important part of the preventative maintenance the keeps your fireplace burning safely and efficiently. To schedule your next chimney inspection, contact the experts at New Buck Chimney Services today.