When you are either buying or selling a home, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) requires that you have a Level 2 chimney inspection performed by a professional chimney technician. At Old Hat Chimney Service, our chimney technicians have been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). During the CSIA certification process, our chimney sweeps were trained to inspect chimneys using the standards of the three levels of inspections defined by the NFPA and have performed many inspections of every level. If you are selling your home, we can help you assure potential buyers that your chimney and venting system functions properly and safely. If you are buying a home with a fireplace, you can trust Old Hat Chimney Service to provide an extensive inspection of its chimney. When it comes to the safety of yourself, your family, and your home, you want to be certain the fireplace and chimney system works as it should without any dangerous hazards. We are often asked by our customers what makes each level of chimney inspections different from the others, so we would like to share with you the details of each level of chimney inspection.
LEVEL 1 INSPECTION
The most basic level of chimney inspection, a Level 1 inspection is what you will typically receive during your annual chimney inspection. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will check the installation and connection of your heating appliance, ensure that there are no blockages of your flue, and check all of the readily accessible portions of the chimney structure and flue. Readily accessible areas mean places that can be reached for inspection without ladders or tools.
LEVEL 2 INSPECTION
The level you need when buying or selling a home, a Level 2 inspection is also required after you add or remove a heating appliance, after upgrading to a heating appliance of a different type, input rating, or efficiency, before relining or replacing the liner of your chimney, and after an operations malfunction or other event that likely damaged the chimney. This level inspects all accessible areas of the chimney, including the attic, crawl space, and basement. The chimney sweeps from Old Hat Chimney Service may have to move or open doors and panels as well as use special tools, such as a video camera.
LEVEL 3 INSPECTION
If there has been an incident such as a chimney fire that damaged your chimney and must be investigated, a Level 3 inspection is necessary for safety reasons. This level of inspection may also be needed if our certified chimney sweeps find or suspect any hazards in a Level 1 or 2 inspection that require further examination. All non-accessible areas are included in this level of inspection, and these areas may require the destruction of the chimney structure to be able to reach.
If you are buying or selling a house, contact Old Hat Chimney Service. You can be guaranteed our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will perform a top-notch Level 2 chimney inspection for you.
Hiring a chimney sweep who has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to perform your annual chimney cleaning and inspecting means you are guaranteed that you have a highly trained and qualified technician doing the job. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep can be entrusted to be certain your chimney is properly cleaned, safe to use, and in excellent working condition. At Old Hat Chimney Service, our chimney sweeps have been through the CSIA certification process, which has given them further training, skills, and knowledge in this industry. Our customers often ask us what the benefits of this certification are, and we would like to answer this by telling you more about the importance of this professional credential.
What exactly is the CSIA?
A non-profit, educational organization, the CSIA dedicates itself to the prevention and elimination of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other chimney-related dangers that can result in injuries or death. To achieve this goal, the CSIA provides a vast collection of resources to educate the public, chimney and venting system professionals, and fire prevention specialists about how to properly maintain fireplace, chimney, and venting systems. The CSIA offers the only national certification program in the chimney and venting system industry, which sets the standard for chimney sweeps.
What are the responsibilities and commitments of a CSIA-certified chimney sweep?
When a chimney sweep completes the training for CSIA certification, he or she must uphold specific obligations listed in the CSIA Code of Ethics, which include:
practicing CSIA-recommended chimney and venting safety techniques
improving skills, extending a knowledge base, and learning new techniques to stay updated on safety standards for the chimney and venting of fireplaces
knowing all applicable local building codes concerning chimneys and fully complying with these codes
following closely all manufacturers’ installation instructions for chimney and venting products
dealing honestly with customers, refraining from unfair and deceptive practices, and informing customers about essential chimney and venting safety procedures
behaving professionally and respectfully when performing chimney and venting duties.
What is the process of CSIA certification?
To become certified by the CSIA, one must do the following:
attend a one-day intensive review session in person or a one-week review session online
pass a one-hour exam based on the 2011 edition of the CSIA publication [italics]Successful Chimney Sweeping[italics] and the 2013 edition of [italics]NFPA 211: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances[italics] from the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA)
pass an open-book 90-minute exam using his/her copy of [italics]2006 International Residential Code[italics], published by the International Code Council
agree to pay the Annual Certification Fee
sign the CSIA Code of Ethics
What topics are covered in the reviews and exams for certification?
To receive CSIA certification, one must prove knowledge and proficiency in the following areas:
the technical aspects of chimney dynamics and construction
skilled performances of the best and current techniques in the industry
wood-burning physics and the formation of creosote residue, which is one of the leading causes of chimney fires
familiarity of and compliance with all applicable codes, regulations, clearances, and standards
the care and installation of a variety of types of solid fuel appliances
all requirements by the US Environmental Protection Agency
To hire one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, contact Old Hat Chimney Service today to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.
Not knowing what kind of shape my fireplace was in as a new homeowner, with no information from the previous homeowners about the last time it was serviced, I needed a complete once over. David was amazing. The inspection and cleaning were both done with the utmost care. Not a speck of soot is anywhere in my house, and there should have been quite the mess, because tons of it was taken out of the chimney (including a squirrels nest...)! Well done, and thanks again!