Level 2 inspections are mandatory if you are making any changes in the way you use your chimney. Such as changing the type of fuel used, or if you have any accidents that may cause damage. If you have had a building fire, chimney fire, or an earthquake. You will need to have a level 2 inspection performed.
Why would I need this?
This type of inspection is also recommended by NFPA 211 any time there is a sale or transfer of a property. A large percentage of fireplaces have problems that could lead to a chimney fire.
As you probably assumed, a level 2 is more in detail than level 1. A level 2 chimney inspection includes all of the visual examination included in a level 1 inspection. Also some additional work including examination of the attic, crawlspace, and other accessible areas.
A Level 2 inspection should also include a visual inspection by video scanning. Or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners incorporated within the chimney. Level 2 does not require removal or destruction or attached portions of the chimney, or building structure.
Serious issues can be suspected, a Level 3 inspection could include removing or destroying portions of the system to reveal hidden areas not otherwise accessible in other forms of inspection.
It is recommended that every chimney system be inspected annually by a professional Chimney Sweep and cleaned when necessary. Though most of those visits would only need a Level 1 inspection, there are other tools the chimney professional has at their disposal to perform increased levels of inspection to ensure the chimney system is as sound as it can be