Differing Levels of Inspection

Knowing the different levels of inspection can ease your mind and give you more confidence in what chimney sweeps do to ensure your home is safe.
Knowing the different levels of inspection can ease your mind and give you more confidence in what chimney sweeps do to ensure your home is safe.

If your home contains a fireplace, you must understand the importance of having a proper sweep and inspection administered at least once a year. Without these precautions, your chimney could become a hazard to you and your family’s health. Chimney sweeping has developed over time, making it more convenient for you and the technician. What started as a job for young orphan boys has now developed into a much easier process with big brushes and machines in modern times. If you need to schedule your chimney’s appointment call Old Hat Chimney.

Why do I need a sweep?

It is important that you have an annual sweep because things you cannot see are building up in your chimney as you read this article. First, there are creosotes, which are particles produced when the fire burns and that are released up into your chimney. Over time, creosote clumps together and causes blockages which could lead to draft problems or chimney fires. Draft problems are linked to carbon monoxide poisoning, because smoke is not able to exit the home properly. Chimney fires are fires that originate inside of the chimney structure, not the fireplace, and can be devastating. Also, nature can block your chimney when animal droppings or twigs make it inside.

It is important that you make sure whoever does your chimney sweep is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified. This means that the technicians follow certain guidelines that will get you the most from your sweep. You can find information on these businesses through the CSIA website or by asking around your community.

Level 1

A level one chimney inspection is the most common level of inspection and what your technician will typically do if there have been no trouble with your unit. If you keep your maintenance up to date this basic procedure can be used for you too. With a level one inspection, you will get a chimney sweep and an inspection of any visible parts of the chimney. To top it off, they will check your flue to make sure its in working order.

Level 2

A level two inspection is more detailed than a level 1 inspection. These are usually administered when the technician notices a potential problem in your chimney during your annual inspection. If they do alert you of a problem, do not use the unit, as it could be a safety hazard. Also, if you change the way you use your fireplace or chimney, such as the addition or replacement of different parts, fuel types, or relining, have a level two inspection done. Lastly, if you are new to the chimney, it is important to have a level two to become familiar with what you are using.

Level 3

A level three inspection is the most in depth form of inspecting. This should be done whenever a problem is not only in the chimney, but spreading to the rest of the home as well. For example, if you have had mold grow inside of your chimney and it is spreading to your foundation you need a more complicated procedure in which they may have to remove parts of the wall to rid your home of the mold.

How can I prepare?

Since a sweep is similar to an overall health screening you would have done on yourself, there are ways to prepare for it. First, do not burn any fires in your home or at least 24 hours to make sure the unit is cool enough to work in. Also, have enough space in your home for the crew to work. Even though they try to keep the mess minimal and do clean up after themselves, move furniture and anything valuable away from the unit. Lastly, keep your pets away for both their safety and the also the workers. If you have questions, call your local chimney experts.