Everything You Need to Know About Chimney Inspections

June 16, 2020

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Chimney Sweeper Sitting on Chimney

Chimney inspections are important because they protect your family from leaking carbon monoxide and can help reduce the danger of chimney fires. A chimney sweep in Marietta may recommend an inspection after a cleaning reveals possible additional issues with the chimney. The inspection will identify any problems with your chimney as well so that the damage can be repaired in order to prevent more serious and costly repairs down the road. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of chimney inspections and why they’re important.

Level 1 Inspection 

A level one inspection is typically done along with a chimney cleaning or sweeping. Chimney sweeping is important because it removes creosote that naturally builds up from burning wood. Creosote is a natural byproduct of combustion and is extremely combustible as well. That means that as you continue using your wood-burning fireplace, the creosote will build up, eventually forming a thick layer that can ignite from the sparks exiting your chimney. The cleaning also removes smoke stains as well as obstructions. It’s not uncommon for animals to build nests in the chimney, especially if the chimney cap is in poor condition. Other debris like leaves, sticks, and garbage can also make obstructions in the chimney. This inspection removes all those obstructions and includes a visual examination of the entire chimney. During this inspection, the technician is looking for any damage or signs of leaks as well as problems with airflow. Most chimneys that have been regularly cleaned and maintained only need a level 1 inspection once a year.

Level 2 Inspection 

A level 2 inspection includes the use of a camera so that the chimney sweep can inspect the entire interior of your chimney. Level 2 inspections aren’t as common and are usually recommended when a level 1 inspection has revealed a possible problem. The inspection makes it possible for the technician to see the condition of the flue. The chimney will also be inspected from the crawl space or attic and other hard-to-reach areas that can provide information about the overall condition of your chimney. A level 2 inspection is also recommended when you’re installing a new type of heating source or selling your home. A chimney fire, hurricane, earthquake, or other significant events that could potentially damage the chimney also warrants a level 2 inspection.

Level 3 Inspection 

A level 3 inspection is generally reserved for when there are signs of major problems that a different type of inspection won’t uncover.  Level 3 inspections are less common because they’re far more intrusive than level 1 and 2 inspections. In many cases, parts of the chimney and even the drywall must be removed to get a closer look at the chimney damage. This inspection might require parts of the chimney to be entirely demolished and rebuilt depending on the extent of damage that’s identified.

Importance of Inspections 

Chimney inspections and chimney cleaning in Marietta are important not only to reduce the danger of a chimney fire or leaking gases, but it can also save you hundreds or thousands of dollars by identifying small problems that could quickly become more serious. For instance, many causes of water intrusion are easily fixed by replacing the chimney cap or waterproofing the chimney. When done in the early stages, you can protect your masonry and flue lining, but if water leaks into the chimney for a long period of time, you could be dealing with major structural damage later on.  To schedule your inspection, contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor today.

 

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