Save Yourself Money & Enjoy A Safer Home With An Annual Chimney Inspection
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 states that, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” Even if you don’t use your chimney regularly, deterioration and damage can still occur, and while a yearly chimney inspection is always recommended, in some cases, you may need to schedule more than one a year, as we look for other types of wear and deterioration, not just creosote and soot buildup.
Here at The Chimney Doctor, chimney inspections and professional video inspections are at the core of our service. We adhere to the NFPA Standard 211 because we know the vital role that annual inspections play in providing peace of mind and ensuring safety, and bringing to light any problems that could threaten that peace of mind or safety. They allow us to get an up-close, inside look into the performance and safety of the chimney system (within the scope of the level of inspection performed or authorized), so we can keep our customers informed and help you enjoy a safer experience by the fireside.
As a team, we promise to provide relevant facts about your chimney system so you can make the right decisions regarding the comfort and safety of your family, and inspections enable us to do just that.
But the benefits of an annual chimney inspection don’t stop with safety and peace of mind…
Scheduling a chimney inspection each and every year can save you money, too! Instead of making larger, more costly repairs years down the road, repairs can be made as soon as they’re discovered, while they’re still small. You’ll also be protected against the costly deterioration and damage that can occur as a result of water, weather, animal intruders, and chimney fires.
Level I, Level II, Or Level III — Which Inspection Do I Need?
Per NFPA 211 standards, we perform level I, II, and III chimney inspections. Here’s what you need to know about each level:
Level I Chimney Inspections
Before and after a chimney cleaning and whenever you’re planning to use your chimney under the same conditions of service and with the same appliance, a level I chimney inspection is performed. During a level I inspection, we’ll evaluate the overall condition of your chimney and flue, from the top to the bottom, and determine whether or not any repairs are needed. Using bright lights and mirrors, we’ll look up and/or down the chimney to visually inspect it and make sure it’s safe for continued use. Level I inspections include an evaluation of all readily accessible areas of your chimney system, but usually do not include attics or crawlspaces, and may or may not include roof access. At the conclusion of the inspection, we’ll inform you, the homeowner or property manager, of our findings, and provide estimates for any recommended repairs.
Level II Chimney Inspections
Upon the sale or transfer of any property; prior to installing a new appliance; when replacing an existing appliance with one of a dissimilar type, input rating, or efficiency rating; and after an external event or operating malfunction, a level II inspection is REQUIRED.
A level II inspection involves all the aspects of a level I inspection, plus the inspection of all accessible areas of the chimney system, including rooftops, attics, and crawlspaces. A level II inspection also includes a video inspection of the chimney flue, from top to bottom.
Level III Chimney Inspections
A level III inspection generally includes all areas included in a level I or level II inspection, as well as some or all of the concealed areas of your chimney. The physical removal of permanently affixed building materials is usually required, which is why these are generally performed after a structural fire or when a level II chimney inspection uncovers cause for concern, charring of combustible materials near the chimney, or badly deteriorated chimney liners. A video inspection may or may not be necessary, though will be recommended and included when appropriate.
Sometimes, you just need a better look, and a video inspection can provide it. The purpose of a video inspection is to help the inspector-on-site determine if your chimney:
- was properly constructed and is capable of protecting your home or structure in the event of a chimney fire
- can safely contain the byproducts of combustion
When a video inspection is performed, a specialized camera is run through the entire length of the chimney system. This camera allows us to peek into unseen areas that can’t properly be inspected from the top or the bottom of the chimney, and to look more closely at any system damage, deficiencies, or areas of concern.
During a video inspection, we’ll inspect the joints and seams in the stove piping and flue tiles, the chimney construction, the interior facing of brick and mortar joints, and the offsets in the chimney structure, and check for any unseen obstacles and obstructions. We’ll also determine whether or not wood was used in the construction of the chimney structure itself.
Don’t Forget About Your Boiler/Furnace Flue!
While you may not have given it much thought, boiler and furnace chimneys and exhaust vents should also be checked annually and cleaned as needed, and your furnace/boiler service provider isn’t doing it. That’s our job! Learn more here.
It’s FLUE Season! Have You Scheduled Your Annual Inspection Yet?
If you haven’t scheduled your annual inspection this year, the time to make the call is now! Our clean, professional, experienced, and certified chimney inspectors will provide a thorough inspection and an honest and detailed report of our findings and recommendations. Get the confidence and peace of mind you deserve — call 970-234-3330 or fill out our online appointment request form to get started!
Part of our chimney and fireplace services is our specialty in the service and repair of all kinds of stoves and fireplaces. You can count on us for all your hearth needs.