Chimneys are pretty tough, but they still need to be maintained and cared for. One of the most important ways you can keep your chimney in good condition is to get it inspected for existing faults and future risks by an expert. Asking for a chimney inspection is also a smart move if you’re buying a new home featuring a chimney.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, there are three classifications of chimney inspections. These classifications include Level I, Level II, and Level III.
Most chimney inspections fall under Level I. Level I inspections are typically carried out once a year as part of your normal chimney upkeep routine.
Your chimney might need a more comprehensive evaluation than a Level I inspection can provide. Level I service doesn’t usually include the use of specialized equipment. A chimney sweep will examine the exterior of a chimney for cracks and other outside signs of damage, but there are a lot of spots this initial inspection can miss.
Level II inspections go deeper, often using special video equipment to check for cracks and other hidden areas of concern within the chimney. Professionals will inspect the flue lining and make sure the flue is free of blockages. Missing or damaged mortar joints can also be caught during a Level II inspection.
Level II inspections commonly occur after major changes to chimney conditions, such as:
- A change in fuel type (switching from wood-burning fuel to gas logs)
- A fire inside the chimney
- Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and earthquakes
- The addition of a new flue lining
If you think your chimney needs an inspection, make sure to have it done by the professionals. At Swept Away Chimney, if you need a Level II chimney inspection, we can help! Contact us today for more information.