One of the most important maintenance responsibilities of a homeowner is scheduling a professional chimney inspection at least once a year, but how do you know which level of inspection you need? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) established three levels of chimney inspections in their Standard 211 for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances to provide clear guidelines of the procedures to chimney professionals and homeowners. For over 30 years, Ashbusters has been performing all three levels of chimney inspections, and our professional technicians have been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to follow the NFPA standards for each level. We would like to tell you more about the three levels of chimney inspections to help you know which level you need.
If you have not made any changes to or had any problems with your chimney and fireplace system, you need a Level 1 chimney inspection. Ashbusters includes this basic level with our annual chimney sweeping service, and we will check out the readily accessible parts of the interior and exterior of your chimney to see if anything is blocking the flue and if any bricks or mortar joints have suffered damage.
This level of inspection is required when you are buying or selling a home if you have made any changes to your chimney and fireplace system, or after an external event such as an earthquake, lightning strike, or chimney fire has caused a malfunction. In addition to the readily accessible parts of the chimney, a Level 2 inspection includes a check of the attic, crawl spaces, and/or basement. A video camera is also used in this inspection to get an up-close look at every inch of the inside of your chimney.
If Ashbusters discovers a problem during a Level 1 or 2 inspection that needs further investigation, we will recommend a Level 3 inspection to make sure there is no dangerous safety hazard present. This level involves removing components of the chimney, such as the crown and the walls, to be able to locate the cause of the issue. Before we do this level of inspection, we will explain why it is needed and give you photos and video footage that documents the reason for this level.
Make sure your chimney and fireplace system will work safely and efficiently this fall and winter. Contact us at Ashbusters today to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney inspection.