Why You Should Schedule a Professional Chimney Inspection
While you can do some basic chimney inspection work on your own, it pays to have a certified chimney inspector look over your system on an annual basis. Qualified inspectors not only can spot things you may not be able to, but they also can recommend the right kind of repair work that will make your chimney work safer and more efficiently.
What happens during a chimney inspection?
There are three levels of chimney inspections sanctioned by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. The type of inspection you need will be determined by several factors.
Level 1: A routine safety inspection covering all the visible areas of the chimney and its components.
Level 2: An inspection performed when the home is being sold, following a chimney fire or when you’re attaching a new appliance to an existing chimney.
Level 3: This inspection is very thorough and is done when a previous inspection turns up significant damage. Level 3 chimney inspections often require the tearing down of parts of the chimney or areas of the home adjacent to it.
The two main purposes of a routine chimney inspection
Professional chimney inspectors are focused primarily on two areas during a standard, annual chimney inspection:
- Damage to the chimney’s masonry, the chimney liner and any of its components such as the chimney cap, crown, flashing, damper, etc.
- Excess accumulation of flammable creosote and/or obstructions in the flue.
Types of damage often found during a chimney inspection
A good chimney inspector can spot many types of damage within a chimney system including:
- Damaged chimney liner
- Rusted damper
- Loose exterior bricks and cracks within the mortar
- Issues with internal masonry
- Damaged chimney cap
- Warped flashing
- Water damage
- Cracked chimney crown
These and many other types of chimney damage can be found during an inspection and repaired right away to prevent the damage from getting worse and costing the homeowner huge amounts of time and expense to fix.
How to address excess creosote and obstructions
If a certified chimney inspection finds excess creosote or debris obstructions in the flue, chimney sweep services can remedy the situation. Professional chimney technicians use specialized tools and techniques to safely remove flammable creosote and restore safety to your chimney. Many of these tools and techniques also are used to clean out obstructions such as bird and small-animal nests, dead small animals, leaves, branch fragments and other debris that can block the flow of smoke and send dangerous gasses including carbon monoxide into your home.
What you can do
You can perform your own simple inspection of your chimney to spot obvious signs of damage. Water in the firebox, crumbling on the roof around the chimney, staining on exterior masonry, odd smells coming from the fireplace, a chimney that leans to one side – these are among the things you can notice that tell you a proper check-up is necessary. Even if you don’t see anything that clearly points to a problem with your chimney, it’s still a good idea to schedule annual inspections by a certified professional to give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your chimney is in safe working order and isn’t a danger to your home and your family.
Chimney Specialists serves the Highland, WI, and Dubuque, Iowa, regions with full-service chimney inspections, chimney cleaning and chimney repair. If it’s time for a safety inspection, contact one of our chimney experts today. Call (608) 929-4887 in Highland, or (563) 582-5156 in Dubuque.