When it comes to the safety and efficiency of your fireplace and chimney, having an annual inspection is the best preventative maintenance that can be done. Inspections can spot areas of minor damage long before they necessitate major repairs, helping you save thousands in the long run. Because of this, it is important to make chimney inspections part of your yearly home maintenance routines.
What is a chimney inspection?
A chimney inspection is an examination of safety and stability of your fireplace and chimney. When done by a certified professional, a chimney inspection can provide you with information about the overall state of your chimney system, as well as alert you to any damage that has occurred or repairs that need to be made. While often done at the same time as an annual chimney sweeping, chimney inspections can be performed on their own any time of year.
Why do I need a chimney inspection?
“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.”
The majority of chimney damage occurs slowly over time. Because of this, if the problem is spotted early enough it can usually be easily repaired with a minimum amount of muss and fuss. Likewise, chimney inspections are an important diagnostic tool that can be used to help identify the root causes of problems such as leaks, odors, or drafting.
Three Levels of Chimney Inspection
The National Fire Protection Association has a standard for three levels of chimney inspection.
- Level I: Level I chimney inspections involve the certified technician inspecting all accessible areas of the interior and exterior of the chimney. Comprehensive enough to spot any developing chimney problems, Level I inspections are recommended when homes are not experiencing any problems and have made no changes to their fireplace system.
- Level II: Level II inspections are more in depth than Level I and often incorporate technology such as closed circuit cameras in order to assess the state of the fireplace and chimney. Level II inspections are usually done when a change has been made to the fireplace system or to help identify the source of a problem. Likewise, some areas may also require a Level II inspection before selling your home.
- Level III: Level III chimney inspections are the most in depth and intrusive; Level III inspections often require the removal of masonry or other materials in order to access the chimney or flue. Because of this, they are typically only recommended if there has been significant damage to the chimney system such as in cases of fire or other natural disasters.
Whether your home is brand new or decades old, an annual chimney inspection can help extend the life of your fireplace system. It’s not too late to schedule a chimney inspection this year; contact New Buck Chimney Services today to take the next step towards a safer, longer lasting chimney.