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When you own a home with a fireplace, you must keep up with certain important chimney maintenance responsibilities. Although you may not see any visible damage, there could be damage lurking inside the flue that could lead to serious problems. To ensure there are no possible dangerous risks, many national fire safety organizations including the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual professional inspections. If you live in the Charleston area, Ashbusters provides superior quality professional chimney maintenance services. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps have the experience and training to perform all three levels of chimney inspections. We would like to tell you more about the differences between these three levels.


When you schedule your annual professional chimney sweeping with Ashbusters, we include a Level 1 inspection. This is the most basic of the three inspection levels. If you have made no changes to your hearth appliance or its venting system, this level is optimal. We examine the soundness of your chimney structure as well as its connections to your fireplace or other appliance. We will also be looking for flue blockages and creosote buildup as we examine the readily accessible portions of your chimney’s exterior and interior.


If you have made changes to your chimney and fireplace system, you will need a Level 2 chimney inspection. The changes include updating your fireplace appliance and relining your flue. Buying or selling a home requires this level of inspection. It is also necessary if your chimney has experienced an operational malfunction or an external event such as a chimney fire or an earthquake. When giving a Level 2 inspection, we do everything that we do in a Level 1 inspection as well as a closer look at the accessible parts of the chimney, including the attic, basement, and crawl spaces. It also includes a video recording of the inside of your flue. Ashbusters will also provide you with photographs of any damage for personal and insurance purposes.


We recommend a Level 3 inspection if a persisting problem needs further investigation. This level involves the removal of components such as the chimney crown or one of the walls of the chimney. Therefore, it is only required when serious hazards are suspected. We explain to you why this level of inspection is warranted before we begin the process.

If you still are unsure which level of chimney inspection your chimney needs, Ashbusters can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney maintenance services.