Fireplace inspection? Who wants to think about a fireplace inspection in the summer? Well, without a fireplace inspection, your home is at risk for serious damage regardless if you have a wood burning or gas fireplace. This damage can be as minor as replacing mortar or as big as rebuilding the chimney. An annual inspection done by a certified chimney sweep will save you time and money.
Did you know there are three levels of chimney inspection? The three levels indicate how much damage your chimney has and what repairs are likely needed. You will want to keep your inspections at a level 1 or 2, and far from level 3. So, what level fireplace inspection is your chimney at? And how can you get started on regularly maintaining your chimney?
Forgot To Inspect Your Chimney?
If you forgot to inspect your chimney this year, there may already be some damage to it. It can be noticeable or unnoticeable. One example of unnoticeable damage is the buildup of creosote, a toxic material formed naturally from combustion. Creosote is flammable and can cause a fire. Secondly, the Illinois weather is humid nearly all year round. The rain storms from previous years could have caused damage to your chimney. Water seeps into the porous mortar, freezes in winter, melts in the summer, quickly eating away at mortar, and causing structural damage. If left unfixed, the chimney itself can collapse. This can be a costly endeavor. If you don’t have a brick and mortar chimney, there can be noticeable damages that can be found in unreachable places such as the chimney flue.
Three Levels of Fireplace Inspections
To determine what repairs your chimney may need, a certified chimney sweep will recommend a level of chimney inspection.
– Level 1= Readily Accessible
Visual – Inspecting any part of a chimney without having to use tools (or ladders) to disassemble anything. No change with the system use. This inspection is for basic soundness, correct installation & connections, & ensuring system is free of obstruction & combustible deposits. *Annual inspection is required.
– Level 2= Accessible – Includes all that of a Level 1 Inspection Including…
Removal of chimney parts, using common tools (including ladders), for inspection without damage of any sort to the chimney or surroundings. A level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system, upon sale or transfer of a property, or an operation malfunction. Accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces, and basements. A level 2 also addresses clearance to combustibles in accessible locations.
– Level 3= Concealed (non-accessible) – Includes all that of a Level 2 Inspection Including…
Causing authorized damage to structure and/or surroundings for access and inspection of un-visible areas that are the subject of inspection or access to areas that would require special tools to reach.
What’s Next? Concerned about the level of fireplace inspection you may (or may not) need, and how can you get started? To avoid serious damage, it’s crucial to keep up with the chimney inspection and repairs yearly. To start, contact Superior Chimney today at 877-244-6349 for a certified chimney sweep’s professional opinion. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!