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Real Estate Inspections for Your Chimney

home purchase chimney inspection Are you planning a move to a new home in the near future? Are you looking to buy a new home? In both cases, it will be a smart move to make sure a Level 2 real estate chimney inspection is performed. And here’s why.

A home inspection doesn’t necessarily equal a chimney inspection

While it’s true that a professional home inspection done for a house on the market will include some looking at the chimney structure, home inspectors have neither the training nor the tools to perform a thorough chimney inspection.

“Thorough” is the key word here, because chimney safety is a paramount issue when living in a home with a wood-burning fireplace. If you’re selling your home, your buyers will want to know the chimney is safe to use. If you’re buying a new home, you’ll want to know the same thing. Chimney fires (which are more common than most people believe), water damage and other issues can compromise a chimney structure and make it unsafe to use or be around.

Additionally, a buildup of flammable creosote can lead the way to a very serious chimney fire. A professional, certified chimney inspector will use camera technology to look down into your flue and determine if the services of a chimney sweep are needed or if there’s any damage that warrants repair.

What happens during a Level 2 real estate chimney inspection?

A Level 1 chimney inspection covers just the basics. When transferring property, a more extensive Level 2 real estate inspection is recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. A Level 2 inspection includes close examination of all accessible chimney and fireplace components (meaning there will be no tearing out of walls or dismantling the chimney structure).

Your inspector will go into the attic, crawl spaces and basement, as necessary, to visually inspect the entire chimney. A traditional home inspector can access the same areas, but he or she likely doesn’t have the training and professional certification to spot damage and recommend the correct solution.

Along with checking for excess creosote, your inspector will also be looking for obstructions within the flue that can cause drafting issues. Debris such as leaves, twigs and small-animal nests can get into a chimney and lead to a serious air-flow problem, which can make smoke and toxins back up into the home and create a health risk.

Who to trust for a real estate chimney inspection

Chimney InspectionYour best source for a professional real estate chimney inspection is a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. These technicians understand everything there is to know about how chimneys and fireplaces operate and are able to spot early signs of damage so it can be fixed before it turns into an expensive repair project. They also know what it takes to repair or rebuild chimneys that already are suffering from significant damage. When it’s time for a thorough Level 2 chimney inspection, always go with a pro.

Chimney Specialists of Highland, WI, and Dubuque, Iowa, is standing by to help with your next real estate chimney inspection. We also provide full-service chimney cleaning, repair and rebuilding to keep your chimney safe and enjoyable year after year. Call (608) 929-4887 in Highland, and (563) 582-5156 in Dubuque to schedule a visit.

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