For Your Next Chimney Inspection, Trust the Experts at American Chimney

Some questions we often get are: How often should I be scheduling my chimney inspection? Are there different types of chimney inspections? How do I know what maintenance I should even be investing in?

Fortunately, our certified and experienced crew can answer it all.

How often should I be scheduling my chimney inspection?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), and countless other reputable and esteemed organizations in the chimney industry urge homeowners to invest in a chimney inspection at least once every year.

Why? Well, there are a few big reasons:

  • Inspections ensure your system is working efficiently. If issues are amiss that mess with drafting or inhibit you from burning strong hot fires, you won’t get the most from your fireplace – and you could find yourself losing money on energy costs.
  • Inspections protect your investment. Fireplaces are a great investment, as they help homeowners lower yearly heating costs and add a lot to the value and overall aesthetic of the home. That said, if they’re not maintained, they can actually hurt you come time to sell. Annual maintenance ensures bigger issues aren’t lingering.
  • Inspections keep your family safer. If you continue to light fires despite your chimney being clogged with creosote or your masonry having cracks and gaps, you’re bound to eventually face some serious – and dangerous – hazards. This could include gas leaks, carbon monoxide exposure, smoke inhalation, home or chimney fires, and more.

Are there different types of chimney inspections?

There are three levels of chimney inspections, and our crew is qualified to do them all.

At American Chimney and Masonry, we follow NFPA guidelines to ensure you get exactly what you’re needing – no matter what condition your system is currently in.

Level I Inspection

If your system hasn’t undergone any major renovations and the conditions of use are not changing, a level I inspection is what we’d recommend.

We’ll examine all readily accessible portions of the chimney and fireplace, as well as accessible portions of any connected appliances. We’ll also verify that no clogs, obstructions, or damages are present.

Level II Inspection

A Level II inspection is more detailed and thorough than a Level I inspection.

These are recommended when major changes have occurred to the system (converting from wood to gas, relining the chimney, a rebuild, etc.) or if a level I inspection reveals bigger problems may be present. They’re also required if the appliance is being replaced, upon the sale/transfer of property, or after a potentially damaging outside event, such as a chimney fire, earthquake, tornado, etc.

A Level II inspection includes all of the requirements of a Level I inspection, as well as the following:

  • Inspection of accessible areas of attics, basements, and crawl spaces
  • Inspection of accessible areas of the chimney exterior and interior
  • Inspection of accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection
  • Video scanning, or other thorough inspection, of the flue interior
  • Evaluation of the flue lining to determine if the material & sizing is appropriate

We will also check for proper clearances to combustibles and proper construction and condition of the chimney system.

Level II inspections do not require the removal of permanent parts of the building or chimney, such as siding or parts of the wall.

Level III Inspection

A Level III inspection will include all of the steps covered in a Level I and Level II inspection, as well as the inspection of any concealed areas that may be covering up suspected problems or hazards.

This may require destructive action to the building or fireplace system. We will always discuss our plans and recommendations with you before moving forward with any demo work.

What if my inspection uncovers damages?

Were damages or buildup found? Not to worry because we can handle any issues we come across, whether it’s clogs in the flue, masonry that needs repointing work, a damaged liner, or something else. From small repairs, like a quick chimney cap replacement, to bigger jobs, like a full-on rebuild, there’s not much we can’t do for you.

No matter what, we’ve got your back

Our technicians are trained to perform the appropriate level of inspection based on the NFPA’s high standards. What you need will depend on how you use the chimney, how often, and on any performance problems you may be experiencing. Our techs are trained to tackle it all! Give us a call at 513-662-4600 to get started.

Rather book online? No problem – reach out to us today.

If you’re in the market for a professional chimney cleaning, we’ve got you covered with our chimney services expertise.