Almost any home can benefit from a fireplace and chimney. It can keep you warm when it’s cold outside, and it adds re-sale to your home should you ever decide to move.
However, a chimney is not a leave-it-and-forget-it feature for your home. It requires regular maintenance to ensure it’s safe to operate and catch small issues before they transform into far costlier or even dangerous ones.
So, it’s important to get a regular chimney inspection to ensure that your fireplace and chimney are operational. There may also be times where you’re required to get your chimney inspected. Knowing the basics of when you need your chimney inspected and what type of inspection you need could help save you money in the long run and keep your family safe.
When to Get Your Chimney Inspected
There are three types of chimney inspections:
- A Level 1 inspection is recommended at least once a year.
- A Level 2 inspection is required when you transfer ownership of your home, if there was an external event that may have damaged your chimney, or if you plan on making any changes to the chimney or use it differently than you have in the past.
- A Level 3 inspection whenever a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection indicates a potential hazard.
So, if you’re not selling your home and you’re not planning to use your chimney any differently than you have in past years, then you should schedule a Level 1 chimney inspection at least once a year. However, if you intend to sell your home or notice a potential issue with your chimney, you should schedule a Level 2 inspection to ensure it is safe and non-hazardous to use.
What Does a Chimney Inspection Include?
As the chimney inspection level increases, the intensity of the inspection increases. That’s why, for the most part, a Level 1 inspection is all you need as preventative maintenance.
Level 1 Inspection
Speaking of, a Level 1 inspection involves a technician assessing the portions of the chimney and fireplace that are readily accessible. “Readily accessible” typically means the chimney’s exterior and other portions that the technician can access without the use of additional tools. They’ll also check the structural soundness of the chimney and that it is free of any obstructions. A Level 1 inspection includes examining the chimney connection, the flue, and basic appliance installation and connections.
Level 2 Inspection
There are several different situations when you need to conduct a Level 2 chimney inspection:
- You’ve added a new heating appliance.
- You’re changing the type of fuel used in the chimney.
- You’ve sold the property or otherwise transferred ownership.
- You notice a chimney malfunction.
- An external event (like a fire or extreme storm) may have damaged the chimney.
A Level 2 inspection includes everything involved in a Level 1 inspection. However, it also adds an examination of the chimney as it runs through your basement, crawl space, and attic. Most Level 2 inspections also include at least one performance test, such as a smoke or pressure test and a video inspection of the chimney’s and fireplace’s interior.
Level 3 Inspection
A Level 3 is the most intensive inspection: it includes everything done under the first two inspection types while inspecting inaccessible portions of the chimney system. To reach these inaccessible portions, part of the chimney usually needs to be removed to give the inspector access.
Chimney Inspection Services
At Chim Chimney of Hermitage, TN, we offer a variety of chimney inspection and cleaning services:
- Brick repair: Bricks are known for their durability, but they may begin to loosen as they are exposed to the elements. This hurts the structural integrity of your chimney and increases the odds of your home getting damaged or someone becoming hurt due to a falling brick.
- Chimney sweeping: Our technicians will use special brushes to sweep the flue from the firebox to the top of the chimney. We use a mess-free method that involves vacuum systems, HEPA filters, and high-grade runners, so your home is left just as clean as when we first arrived.
- Creosote removal: Creosote is a black or brown substance that can build up inside chimneys. It’s highly combustible, so it’s important to remove it before it becomes a hazard to your home or family.
- Critter removal: Birds and rodents appreciate the protection and warmth a chimney offers them. However, they may block the flue and make the use of your chimney dangerous to both you and them. We can install a chimney cap that helps keeps critters out of your chimney.
- Firebox repair: Fireboxes are part of the chimney exposed to extreme heat and smoke. That makes them vulnerable to damage. We’ll inspect your firebox for damage and make any necessary repairs.
- Waterproofing: Condensation and water inside the chimney are some of the main causes of creosote. We can waterproof the chimney to help keep it dry inside.
Have Chim Chimney Do Your Chimney Inspection and Cleaning
If your Hermitage home has a chimney, call Chim Chimney for your regular inspections and cleaning. Our team of expert chimney technicians has the experience and training to ensure your chimney is safe and working as it should.
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