Although everything may look fine on the outside of your chimney, there could be hidden hazards lurking inside its interior that can make your chimney unsafe to use. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that homeowners have their chimneys professionally swept and inspected at least once a year.
Fall is the busiest time for our sweeps at Ashbusters, so we recommend scheduling your annual appointment with us as soon as you can. With every chimney sweep we perform, we provide a basic Level 1 inspection of both the inside and the outside of your flue. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is: How many levels of chimney inspections do we offer? A few decades ago, the NFPA established three levels to give guidelines and standards to chimney professionals to follow. We would like to tell you more about each levels and what to expect from them.
Before our CSIA-certified chimney sweep sweeps your chimney, he will first take a look at the interior walls to see how much creosote has built up. We will also check to make sure nothing is blocking the flue. After we have finished sweeping your chimney, we will take a look at its exterior to ensure there are no damaged bricks or mortar joints or other deterioration. You will receive a written explanation of the condition of your chimney after our services.
If you have made changes to your system such as an update to your fireplace or your liner, or if it has experienced a malfunction like a chimney fire or a tornado or hurricane, you need a Level 2 inspection. You should also schedule this level if you are buying or selling your home. A Level 2 chimney inspection includes everything we do in a Level 1, as well as a visual check of the attic, basement, and crawl space areas. We will also do video scan of every inch of the inside of your chimney to give you evidence to give to your homeowner’s insurance if you need to file a claim for repairs.
In some situations, Ashbusters need to look more closely at your chimney. We may need to remove certain components such as the chimney crown or a part of the interior chimney wall. If we suspect serious hazards is present, we recommend a Level 3 inspection to find out what exactly is causing the problem.
Make sure your fireplace is ready for the holidays. Contact us today at Ashbusters to schedule your annual appointment for our professional chimney inspection services.