Have you tried to sell your home? If you did, were you asked for papers saying that your chimney is safe enough for the next person who will occupy the building? Why? Because a chimney not regularly inspected and cleaned is a hazard to your home and anyone living in it.
There are three levels of inspections done by a chimney sweep who’s certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. These are things a homeowner like yourself needs to know so that you’ll be able to keep the condition of your chimney at its best. This will also help you in assessing the need to repair or replace. Our company, Owens Chimney would like to discuss in detail with you the three levels of inspection set by the CSIA.
How Do I Know He’s a Certified Chimney Sweep?
Some people can knock on your door step and call themselves chimney sweeps, but here’s the difference: duly licensed sweeps by the CSIA carry a badge along with them that says “certified chimney sweep” and they would always have their names on the upper left or right part of what they’re wearing everywhere they go. They will even carry the CSIA sign on their truck and some even have it on their equipment. If you’re unsure of the person in front of you, remember to ask to see the badge or certification. You can also call the company and confirm the name of the person who will inspect your chimney.
Chimney Inspections are mandatory for homes but don’t worry. This is done only when there are sudden problems or annually. Inspections are done to make sure that your chimney is still functioning well and that it can still handle heavy weather conditions.
Level I inspections are the most common inspections. It is recommended for chimneys that are used on a regular basis and has not experienced any problems since the day the fireplace started supplementing heat to the home. During this inspection, our sweeps will look at the readily accessible areas in the chimney; exterior and interior.
We check for:
- Basic condition of chimney flue and structure
- Fundamental installation
- Clearance to combustible materials
- Check if there are blockages in the chimney opening
- Check the volume and nature of soot and creosote; if there are any
This means that there is no need to use special equipment to look at the parts. In some areas though, like the upper area of the chimney, we will need tools like screwdrivers and pliers, but we assure that there will be no damage whatsoever done to the structure of your furnace.
This inspection is done when you are making changes to your heating system or when you’re selling your home. Also, when there are changes in the fuel that you use or when you had the flue relined. This inspection is also done when there is an added or replaced appliance in your home. A Level II inspection is appropriate if there were recent natural calamities such as earthquakes or storms.
Other reasons for this type of inspection would be:
- Malfunction in one of the parts
- Chimney fire
Once this happens and there is also damage in the structure, a Level II inspection is needed.
In this inspection, everything in Level I is included but with additions like having video cameras to check the unreachable areas of the chimney and especially in the chimney flue.
This inspection is needed when there are big problems that are happening inside the chimney and may need special tools to access concealed areas like that in the chimney flue. Removing objects and things that are close to the fireplace might also be necessary so that our chimney sweep will be able to access joints and areas that are hard to reach. This inspection will require removal of some parts in the structure if that part is preventing access to the main problem. Yes, there may be some damage done to the area around the chimney, but we always make it a point to discuss with you what needs to be done before doing it.
We have been serving the people of Charlotte, North Carolina since 1989 and look forward to helping you have peace of mind about your chimney. We have the best chimney sweeps in town that are ready to help you in all your chimney needs.