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.
It’s the end of summer and most people are trying to enjoy the warmth for as long as possible. They’re not yet thinking about the winter months and their fireplaces. You should get your chimney inspected annually, before you light your first fire of the year. However, most people call to schedule an appointment to have their chimneys and fireplaces inspected in winter or late fall. By calling us now, however, you can avoid the rush and make sure that you can get an appointment before you want to use your fireplace.
Why Are Annual Inspections Important?
Here at Old Hat Chimney Service, we know how frustrating it can be to try to find a reliable, trustworthy, knowledgeable chimney sweep. But if you live in the Atlanta area and are in the market for a new chimney care provider, your search is over.
Inspections are incredibly important. While you may not think that something is wrong with your fireplace, there are many hidden dangers that an untrained eye can easily miss. A variety of things, such as animals, may have made their way into your chimney and obstructed the air flow. Hidden damage and creosote buildup put your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and/or a chimney fire. The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that your chimney be inspected:
At least once a year
When you purchase a new home
Any time there has been a change to any appliance that vents directly into the chimney
Any time there has been significant structural work done to the home
You’re In Good Hands
The chimney professionals at Old Hat Chimney Service are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), so you can expect industry-leading standard from us in every job we perform. We’re always dedicated to providing the highest level of service and customer care.
Old Hat technicians also possess industry-leading tools, including chimney video scanning systems. This gives us a much more detailed look at your flue. Without these video systems, technicians rely on eyesight, flashlights, and instinct to spot any potential danger lurking in your chimney. The video is simply much more accurate and allows us to see even minimal damage and correct it before it becomes a much larger issue.
A level one inspection is recommended if you are using the same chimney in the same way. It’s a visual inspection of the readily accessible parts of your chimney and heating appliance.
A level two inspection will be performed if a home is being bought or sold, a new appliance is installed, or a flue liner has been replaced. This inspection includes the same things as a level one inspection, and in addition, we access the upper and lower parts of the chimney system in attics and basements or crawl spaces.
A level three inspection is appropriate when damage or potential damage has occurred (this could be due to fire, lightning, strong winds, or other circumstances). It includes the same things as the previous two inspection types, and an inspection of the system behind permanent parts of the chimney, appliance, or home. This means that the level three inspections may require the removal of drywall or masonry.
Old Hat Chimney Service technicians can help schedule the correct inspection for your chimney. Call us at 770-529-2654 or click here to schedule an appointment today. Don’t wait until everyone is rushing for an appointment to call us!
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.
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.
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.
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.