“But I only use my fireplace during the holidays; I don’t need to inspect it every year!”
Not true. Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourage homeowners to have their fireplace systems inspected annually, no matter the amount of usage. There are three levels of chimney inspection, all of which can and should incorporate video scanning.
Why Use Video Scanning Technology?
Chimney sweeps and others trying to “see inside” a chimney have traditionally relied on a mirror and a powerful light to either look up from the bottom or down the chimney from the top. The problem when looking down a long tube-like chimney is that you cannot see the details of the chimney walls much further than a few feet. When it comes to ensuring that your chimney system is as safe and as efficient as it should be, details matter! That’s why we use Chim-Scan video scanning equipment during our Level 2 inspections.
The Chim-Scan Video Chimney Scan
Our camera, the Chim-Scan, drops down inside of the flue and can be angled to look at the walls at a 90 degree angle, or any angle necessary, to see potentially dangerous problems within the flue. If you have had a chimney fire, our camera can document the damage by way of video and digital pictures, which can be added to a detailed written report for your insurance company. As a result, the adjustor can see your loss easily.
If you are unsure of the condition of your flue liner and chimney, the Chim-Scan Chimney Evaluation will show you exactly what is going on to help you make the decisions you need regarding the safety of your venting systems. The scans can show excessive creosote buildup, damage to the flue, water damage, and animal nests among other things. A Chim-Scan will let a homeowner know of any issues regarding their chimney system before listing their house on the real estate market, and will provide prospective buyers the peace of mind that they are not inheriting someone else’s potentially dangerous and costly problems. Click here to read more about Real Estate Inspections!
The Three levels of Chimney Inspections
There are three levels of inspections as standardized by the NFPA:
Level One is very basic, and consists of inspecting readily accessible parts of the inner and outer chimney during an annual maintenance sweeping. The sweeping will clear the flue of obstructions and deposits like hazardous combustible creosote. If appliances have been swapped out, or an event like an earthquake, tornado, fire, or transfer of ownership has occurred, a Level One inspection will not suffice, and a Level Two inspection is in order.
Level Two inspections dig a little deeper and are the most frequently performed inspections. Aside from severe weather events, if you've experienced an equipment malfunction, a fire in the chimney, or the installation of a new heating appliance, you need a Level Two inspection. People thinking of buying a home should also request a Level Two inspection if one was not already provided by the seller. These inspections will check everything checked in a Level One inspection, as well as unseen areas of the flue system and smoke chamber.
Level Three inspections are deemed necessary when a problem is discovered during Level One or Two inspections, but cannot be investigated without the removal of parts of the chimney and building. These are the least commonly performed chimney inspections.
Schedule Your Inspection Today!
If you haven’t yet scheduled your annual chimney inspection with a certified sweep, give Fireplace Solutions by the Chimney Sweeper a call today at 800-760-6567! We look forward to serving you and meeting your chimney-related needs year after year!