A professional chimney sweep is someone who you call to your home or business to perform a thorough chimney inspection. This may raise a few questions such as, what this really means and what exactly is the professional chimney sweep going to do. There has been a misunderstanding for quite some time about what will come of the investment being made in a professional chimney sweeping. A general understanding about what can be expected has been put into action between the chimney owner and chimney professional.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) were created after some constant misunderstandings and concerns among chimney owners. As these organizations worked together, they were able to examine common issues and are now able to provide more clear guidelines for chimney inspections that are acceptable to both chimney owners and chimney professionals.
There are two publications where standards placed by these organizations can be found:
You and your family can gain a great peace of mind by having your chimney thoroughly inspected at least once a year. There are many benefits to having your chimney and fireplace inspected, with the most common reasons being:
For the protection of homeowners and to provide specific consistency for all chimney and fireplace inspections, the NFPA approved two levels of inspection: Level 1 (minimum requirement, unchanged system) and Level 2 (required when any change was made.)
During a Level 1 inspection, the burning appliance or ventilation system is not changed and the system is expected to be utilized the exact same way as it previously has been. Our Chimspector professional chimney sweeper will inspect the readily accessible elements of your system, including the exterior and interior appliance, the exterior chimney, and the chimney connection. Another assurance made with a Level 1 inspection is of the correct installation of the heating appliance, the fireplace’s structural integrity, and an unobstructed flue that is free of any combustible deposits such as creosote.
A Level 2 inspection is a requirement for any chimney system that has underwent any changes, whether it is a change in fuel types, a flue liner replacement, or changing into a completely different appliance. Natural disasters can affect the integrity of a chimney system, which means a Level 2 inspection becomes mandatory. These natural disasters can include fires, earthquakes, wind damage, etc. This level of inspection is also a requirement when it comes to the sale of a home in order to protect both the buyer and seller. Level 2 inspections are more thorough and includes all elements of a Level 1 inspection, but it includes a video recording of the chimney system, which allows our professional chimney sweepers an up close look at something that would potentially be out of their view. It is important to keep in mind that access to your basement or attic may be necessary, but will not result in any damage or demolition of any kind. Upon conclusion of this inspection, you will receive a copy of the recorded video, as well as a detailed written report of any findings and suggestions to address any repairs that need to be made.
The only way to determine if there are any problems or potential hazards with a chimney are by using a professional’s properly trained eye and the appropriate camera equipment. At Chimspector, our professional chimney sweeps aim to look for cracks, breaks, blown out tile sections, missing mortar joints, clogs, flammable nests, clearances to combustibles, construction errors, or any other issues that could cause a potential fire and/or carbon monoxide hazard. One example could be mistaking a crack in a flue tile for a water mark, which could be made by the untrained eye. As it is very difficult to see the entire interior of the chimney’s surfaces, our chimney cleaning company offers camera services for a more thorough inspection. It is essentially a fisheye camera lens attached to a video camera that is then lowered into the chimney flue or it can be inserted into the chimney flue from the inside of the building through the fireplace or chimney thimble.
A Chimney Scan can be used for the following: