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All About Chimney Inspections

What Are Chimney Inspections?

A level 2 inspection is recommended by most insurance companies, as well as many local building codes. It’s also an important step for any homeowner who wants to know if their chimney needs repair or replacement particularly surrounding real estate-related transactions involving the property.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

A chimney inspection is a visual examination of the interior and exterior of your chimney. The inspector will look for any signs of damage or blockages that may be causing smoke to enter your home. He/she will check for cracks, crevices, holes, missing bricks, loose mortar, and damaged flues. They will also inspect the vent pipe and flue liner for wear and tear. If there are any problems with the chimney, they will recommend repairs before you have another fire.

Level Two Chimney Inspections:

There are three levels of chimney inspection. Also, the level of chimney inspection your home needs will depend on a few things. These include use, condition, damage, changes to the system, and time since the last inspection.

Level one inspections are a basic part of regular annual maintenance. They are used for fireplaces with no changes or performance issues. Level three inspections are the most intensive. They typically involve removing a portion of the masonry or surrounding walls. Due to this, Level Three inspections are only recommended in the event of extreme causes. Most often being natural disasters, chimney fires, or issues of structural stability.

A level two inspection offers homeowners an in-depth look at their chimney system without doing any damage. They usually use some kind of camera system. Chimneyscopes let chimney sweeps thoroughly inspect their entire chimney system. These include the hard-to-reach areas in the flue.

How to Prepare for Chimney Inspections

If you have a home with a chimney, you probably already know that it needs to be inspected every so often. What you might not know is how to prepare for that chimney inspection when the right time rolls around. Here’s what you should do:

Stop Using Your Fireplace Days Beforehand

The last thing that you want to happen when your chimney sweep arrives is for them to get hurt. One of the ways to keep them safe so they can complete the job without problems is to stop using your fireplaces days before they arrive. You should let the fireplace rest at least 24-48 hours before the inspection so that it’s completely cool by the time the chimney sweep arrives. If the fireplace is still hot or even warm when they get to your house, they won’t be able to provide a proper inspection.

Do Some Light Cleaning of the Fireplace and Mantle

Remove decorations and tools that usually sit on or around the fireplace. You don’t want any fragile items to get damaged during the inspection. It’s a better idea to just move them temporarily. Inside the fireplace, you should remove the logs that are still inside and the ashes, if you want to keep them. Other items like the grate and log holder should get moved, too.

Remove Obstacles and Pets

When your chimney sweep arrives, you don’t want there to be any obstacles in their way. Kindly move any furniture or other fixtures that might block their access to the fireplace. They will need some extra space, too, so pushing everything at least a few feet away from the fireplace is the best idea.

Another potential concern during the chimney inspection is pets. If you have dogs, cats, or any other pet that wanders loose around the house, you should shut them out of the room with the fireplace during the inspection. This will protect your pets from any danger and keep them away from the noise caused by the chimney sweep’s tools.

Take Care Of Nearby Furniture and Decor

Even if you move furniture out of the way, there’s still a possibility that ash could come out of the fireplace and cause stains. You should move or cover anything you don’t want to risk damaging. The chimney sweep will take all possible precautions to prevent ash from getting into your home but there is still a small risk you may want to consider.

Alert the Chimney Sweep of Your Concerns (If Any)

Sometimes you schedule an inspection because you have a specific concern, rather than it just being time for a regular inspection for maintenance purposes. If that’s the case, make sure that you let the chimney sweep know about your concerns upfront so they can address them. Maybe you’ve noticed a strange smell coming from the chimney or poor ventilation. Whatever it is, your chimney sweep should know about the concern ahead of time for optimal safety and efficiency. If they don’t know about the problem, they might not be able to fix it for you.

It’s a great time for chimney and fireplace questions

If you have any nagging doubts or concerns about your fireplace, the inspection is the perfect time to ask them. Spend some time before the chimney sweep arrives thinking about any questions you may have and maybe write them down so you don’t forget. Your chimney sweep can provide helpful safety tips and functional advice during the inspection so be sure to ask them. This is especially helpful for new fireplace owners.

Experienced Chimney Experts

Chimney inspections should be easy and useful for you as the homeowner. Following these tips is a great way to make sure everything goes well.

The best way to have a positive experience during your chimney inspection is to hire the best chimney professionals. If there’s anyone who knows all about chimney inspections, it’s the pros at Sweep Your Chimney chimney services.

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