Did you call about having your chimney inspected only to be overwhelmed with a bevy of bids and options? Not all chimney inspections are the same. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recognizes three different levels of chimney inspections, and the type of chimney inspection you need influences how much your chimney inspection will cost.
Level 1 Chimney Inspection
A Level 1 chimney inspection is a basic chimney inspection. When you order your annual chimney sweeping and inspection, the inspection usually is a Level 1 chimney inspection. Under CSIA guidelines, a Level 1 inspection involves a visual inspection of the easily accessible portions of your chimney and its connections. During the inspection, your chimney technician will look for any signs of damage or structural weaknesses in your chimney, check to make sure that your fireplace or heating appliance has been properly installed, and he or she will make sure that your chimney is free from any obstructions or deposits of flammable creosote. Level 1 inspections are recommended when no changes have been made to your fireplace or chimney system and when you plan to use your fireplace as you have in previous years.
Level 2 Chimney Inspection
A Level 2 chimney inspection is ordered when a change has been made to the fireplace or chimney, including a change in fireplace fuel type, the installation of a new fireplace or insert or the relining of the chimney. Level 2 inspections also are called for when a property changes hands through a real estate transaction. They also are recommended when damage is suspected to have occurred to the chimney, such as due to a weather event, earth quake, chimney fire or home fire.
A Level 2 inspection includes all of the elements of a Level 1 inspection, but it goes further, as often the basis for a Level 2 inspection is that the system has sustained some sort of hidden damage. A Level 2 inspection involves a visual inspection of the chimney’s exterior and the examination of the chimney through crawl spaces and attics. A Level 2 inspection also includes a video inspection of the chimney’s interior.
Level 3 Chimney Inspection
A Level 3 inspection is conducted when a Level 2 inspection turns up signs of serious and dangerous chimney damage. A Level 3 inspection includes Level 1 and 2 inspection components, but the chimney technician will dismantle portions of the chimney, fireplace or home structure to uncover damage. That could include removal of walls, the chimney crown or the interior chimney wall.
If you need a chimney inspection, ranging from a Level 1 inspection to a Level 3 inspection, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to schedule an appointment today! If you’re not sure which type of chimney inspection you need, we can advise you based on your unique chimney situation!