As we ring in the new year, many of us have made resolutions to improve our lives, some of the more popular being to be more organized, to stop procrastinating, and to take better care of our homes. Well, we know a way you can start tackling all three of these at once – schedule your annual professional inspection with the team at Ashbusters!
For over three decades, we’ve been sweeping and inspecting chimneys throughout the Nashville area, and we’d love to help you out with it all.
Our technicians are trained and certified by the leading experts in our industry, like the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fireplace Institute (NFI), and thanks to our many years of experience, there isn’t much want can’t do to resolve your chimney-related woes. That said, we won’t know where to start until an inspection is completed!
What to Expect From Us
What happens once you call us in to look things over? Well, our professionals are trained and experienced in all three levels of chimney inspections, which were established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to create specific standards for chimney and venting professionals. So, you can bet that, no matter where you stand, we’ll have you covered.
What does each level of inspection entail?
- Level 1: A level 1 inspection includes checking the condition of all readily accessible parts of the chimney. We’ll make sure there are no flue blockages or creosote accumulation, and we’ll take a good look at the exterior bricks and mortar joints, too, checking for any damage that could jeopardize the structural soundness of the chimney.
- Level 2: If you’ve made any changes to your chimney and fireplace system in the last year, have been through a natural disaster (like a flood, tornado, earthquake, etc.), are buying or selling a home, or have experienced a chimney fire, you’ll need a level 2 inspection. This includes everything we do in a level 1, along with examining the parts of the system in the attic, basement, and crawl space. We’ll also perform a video scan with a specialized closed-circuit camera that allows us to see every inch of the interior chimney.
- Level 3: Finally, if we discover a hidden hazard during a level 1 or 2 inspection, we’ll recommend a level 3 inspection. During these, we may need to use specialized tools to remove certain components of the system or maybe even an interior chimney wall. Now, this may sound extreme, but keep in mind that level 3 inspections are rarely required, and Ashbusters will only recommend one if we strongly suspect a dangerous hazard is hidden inside of your chimney. Your safety is always our top priority!
4 Reasons Why Chimney Inspections Are Important
1. Your fireplace is a focal point of your home. Once temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, your fireplace becomes the center of your home. It’s where friends and family gather to get warm and relax after a long day, enjoying some much-needed quality time together amidst it all.
So, since your family will spend the majority of their time around the fireplace, isn’t it important to make sure it’s in safe and efficient working order? The best way to do this is by simply calling us up and booking an inspection.
2. Creosote buildup is dangerous. When you have a wood-burning fireplace or wood stove, creosote – a residue that sticks to the interior walls of your chimney – naturally develops from combustion by-products like smoke, water vapor, and various types of gases. And, depending on the type of firewood that you burn, the frequency of your fires, the condition of your chimney, and other factors, there could be enough creosote accumulated inside your chimney to block the flue.
Now, flue blockages are dangerous for many obvious reasons (smoke back-up, decreased airflow, etc.), but what also comes with too much creosote is an increased risk of experiencing chimney fires. In fact, the CSIA has named creosote as a leading cause of chimney fires because it is so flammable. Chimney fires wreak havoc on your masonry, and they leave you more vulnerable to gas leaks, house fires, and smoke exposure.
To top it all off, creosote also has a very strong and acrid smell. This unpleasant odor can get worse during the hot, humid summers we get here in the Nashville region, which is why we always recommend getting maintenance done on the earlier side of things. Once we’ve swept everything out, you’ll be able to rest easier knowing you won’t have to worry about a stinky chimney come summer.
Helpful tip: You can avoid excessive creosote build-up by burning your fires hot, by making good airflow a priority, and by using only seasoned wood to burn your fires.
3. You could face carbon monoxide exposure. During our chimney inspections, homeowner safety is always the top priority. That’s why, as CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, we’ll also ensure there is nothing present in your chimney that might allow toxic combustion gases like carbon monoxide to leak back into your home. We’ll check to be sure no debris is blocking the flue, and we look closely at the liner and firebox to make certain there are no cracks or gaps where any poisonous gases could escape through into your living spaces.
If we find any damage that could result in a carbon monoxide leak, we will give you a written estimate of the necessary repairs to make your chimney safe to use again.
4. You’ll get more from your appliance. When it comes to fireplaces, efficiency needs to be a priority. There’s simply no use wasting time, energy, and expense on an appliance that won’t heat your space to your liking. Keeping up with annual chimney maintenance can help you achieve more efficiency, guaranteeing you get the most from your system season after season.
During an inspection, Ashbusters will check out the connections between your heating appliance and your chimney for anything that might cause shortcomings in operation. We will also look for sufficient water protection to avoid major problems, and if we find a troublesome area, we specialize in fixing leaky chimneys, as well as implementing preventative measures, so no worries there.
Let’s Get Started – Call Today!
Once fall comes around, it can be a challenge to find a convenient date for your annual chimney inspection. That’s why we always encourage booking it early! That said, we understand you still may be putting your system to use for a few more weeks. Nevertheless, it’s something good to keep in mind once we eventually start experiencing that nicer, springtime weather.
When you’re ready, reach out to our team to get your appointment booked. There’s no crew better trust! We look forward to helping you with it all.