The Different Levels of a Chimney Inspection

by | Oct 30, 2013 | Chimney Maintenance

Christmas is Near: Have Your Chimneys Cleaned

Chimney Tech Inspecting a Chimney - Raleigh NC - Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service

Jolly songs, sparkly décor and big extravagant trees are flooding the malls. That only means one thing – Christmas is fast approaching. But aside from preparing our Christmas grocery list, presents to buy and relatives to invite, we should also remember to take into consideration a vital part of this joyous holiday; the warmth. No, I’m not referring to the warmth that we feel in our hearts (although that’s important, too), but the physical warmth of our homes. We wouldn’t want to be drinking eggnog and going through presents while our toes are turning into icicles, now would we?

That’s why it is important for us to remember to have our chimneys checked out every once in a while. But because of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, this is often a detail we tend to overlook. So we should make a mental note to have an inspection done before the holiday rush begins, so it is less likely for us to forget about it. So before you call someone to come over your homes and do an inspection, here are a few things you should know:

First of all, there are three levels of chimney inspections as outlined by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Inspections are classified as Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 with each level of inspection covering specific items, depending on the individual appliance and venting system.

In every chimney inspection, cleaning or sweeping, you should expect Level 1 to be covered. A Level 1 inspection is limited to readily accessible portions of the venting system, and accessible portions of the connected appliance(s) and the chimney connection. The inspector will check the readily accessible portions of the chimney, its enclosing structure, and the flue. A Level 1 inspection includes verification that the flue is not blocked or significantly restricted.

When the end result of performing a Level 1 reveals a need for further inspection, that’s when the chimney service technician proceeds to do a Level 2. A Level 2 inspection is more detailed and thorough than a Level 1 inspection and is recommended when conditions of use for the appliance or venting system are changing. While the Level II inspection is a rather thorough inspection and requires access to many areas of the building, it does not require removal of permanent parts of the building, such as siding, chase covers or wall coverings.

A Level 3 inspection is the most detailed of all of the inspection types because it includes all areas covered in a Level 1 and Level 2 plus an assessment of concealed areas of the building. However, examination of concealed areas will be limited to spaces reasonably suspected of containing hazards that cannot be evaluated otherwise. In cases where certain portions of a Level 3 inspection require destructive action to the building, the inspector will discuss these areas with the building owner prior to the inspection.

That’s it, easy right? All you have to do is pick up your phone and make an appointment to have your chimney checked today. Here’s to a safe and warm holiday season!

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