a Level 2 inspection is the standard! ▼
The National Chimney Sweeping Guild recommends having your chimney inspected at least once a year. Annual chimney inspections save lives and costly property damage. It’s been estimated that over 200 million dollars are lost a year from fires built in unsafe chimneys. Even a fireplace or wood stove that is not used very much can become unsafe over time. An unused chimney is more prone to blockage due to animals nesting in them. You could also have water damage that can cause cracked flue tiles.
The industry has a standard established by the National Fire Protection Association (N.F.P.A.) dating back to 2000. The industry refers to theses inspections as Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.
Every chimney in use must be inspected once a year.
A Level II chimney inspection is the only inspection level that will hold up in a court of law. If you need to establish a legally recognized inspection record, please request a Level II.
After a chimney fire or for the sale/purchase of a home, a Level II inspection is the industry standard.
A Level 1 inspection is generally limited to the visually accessible areas of the chimney. The chimney is checked for issues like; obstructions, cracked flu tile or open dry joint. This is just a short list of possible issues that can be seen in a Level 1 Inspection. It is a basic checking of the flue and to determine if it is obstructed, checking the chimney structure and all the connections. A Level 1 Inspection does not require any special equipment, scaffolding, rigging or cameras. This is recommended at least once a year with your annual chimney sweeping or during the replacement of a new appliance.
A Level 2 inspection will include all of a Level 1 inspection as well as a camera scanning of the interior of the chimney with an evaluation, assessing the exterior and interior of the chimney, proper clearance, construction and condition of the chimney system. This is recommended upon sale or transfer of property, before relining or replacement of the flue liner, damage to the chimney, or replacement of a connected appliance.
A Level 3 inspection is the most detailed of all inspection types. It includes all of Level 1 and Level 2 inspections along with an inspection to concealed areas to investigate any suspected or known areas of concern. Some portions of a Level 3 inspection require some demolition to the building. This is recommended when there is damage to the chimney or a hazard has been detected or suspected from the result of a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection that could not be fully evaluated without access to concealed areas.
Part of Level 2 and Level 3 inspections can be a Video Inspection. This involves a special Video Camera that is guided into the chimney to get a recording of the interior. With the use of a Video Camera, we are able to see if there are any areas of concern, such as flue cracks, missing mortar, gaps between flue sections, damage due to a chimney fire, obstructions in the flue, disconnected flue pipes, deterioration of damper or any gaps in the chimney system. Video inspections are recommended when the Inspector suspects any problems, there has been damage to the chimney, or after a chimney fire, before purchasing a home, or for general peace of mind. Video and written reports are available upon request.
We perform all three levels of chimney inspection. We determine which level of inspection is needed based upon your specific circumstances. We follow the NFPA-211 Standards. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but the various inspection levels are designed with your safety in mind, so you don’t lose property, health or life through a lack of knowledge.