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What You Need to Know

If you’re fortunate enough to own a home with a fireplace, you should be aware that the cozy atmosphere your fireplace creates also requires some upkeep and maintenance. The best way to ensure that your fireplace is maintained is to get your chimney inspected by a professional at least once a year, even if you own a gas fireplace. Here’s what you need to know about the three different levels of chimney inspections to address different sets of circumstances in your home. 

Calling a professional chimney inspector or chimney sweep at least once per year is essential. A chimney inspection can reveal structural issues, whether or not your chimney needs to be cleaned thoroughly, and reduce the possibility of fire in your home.  

Level 1 Chimney Inspections

A level 1 inspection is required when nothing has changed with your chimney or fireplace. bare minimum of inspections that is necessary if you will continue using the same fireplace system and have not made any changes to the system recently. During a level 1 inspection, the chimney inspector or chimney sweep will use a flashlight to examine all of the more easily accessible areas of inside and outside your fireplace. The chimney inspector will identify creosote buildup, any damage or obstructions, and soot, and may also clean out the chimney if necessary. 

Level 2 Chimney Inspections

A level 2 chimney inspection happens when some components of your fireplace or home have changed recently.  The best time for a Level 2 chimney inspection is when you have just bought a new home; the chimney experienced some damage; or if you want to change how you use the chimney, like using it for extended periods. A level 2 chimney inspection is a bit more involved and includes examining the attic, crawlspace, and basement. During a level 2 chimney inspection, the chimney sweep may use a video camera to scan these areas to identify issues with the chimney cover, crown, roof flashings, and brick and mortar. The level of inspection also ensures that there’s no moisture damage or obstructions caused by animals nesting in the chimney

Level 3 Chimney Inspection

A level 3 inspection happens after there have been big changes to your chimney or when certain components of your fireplace have been removed or renewed. A level 3 inspection usually takes place usually done after chimney fire and can be intrusive and may require demolition.  During a Level 3 inspection, the chimney sweep will check for cracks in tiles, missing mortar between bricks, and overall moisture levels. 

If you need more tips and advice on chimney inspections, or would like to schedule a chimney inspection, contact South Sound Inspections today!

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