Essential Areas Examined in Level 1 Chimney Inspections
During Level 1 chimney inspections, what essential areas are chimney sweeps examining and why? These are common questions homeowners have when they schedule a chimney inspection – an event, by the way, that should occur annually, according to fire safety experts, who are all in agreement about that. A basic Level 1 chimney inspection is included as a part of Level 2 and Level 3 inspections. It is one in which a chimney professional will examine only the portions of the chimney and fireplace that are readily accessible, including those mentioned below.
CSIA Defines “Readily Accessible”
Certified chimney sweeps who perform inspections follow a checklist to ensure a thorough procedure. During a Level 1 inspection, the readily accessible things that chimney sweeps will examine include components that are:
• Exposed or capable of being exposed for maintenance, inspection, operation, or repair without the use of tools to remove or open panels, coverings, or doors.
When a Level 1 Chimney Inspection is Needed
A Level 1 inspection is the recommended type of inspection under the following conditions:
• Your venting system has not changed
• You are planning to use your chimney as you have in the past
• Your chimney is maintained under a continued service plan under the same conditions and with ongoing use of the same hearth appliance.
The Condition of the Flue
When examining the flue, your chimney sweep technician will determine whether the chimney liner is free of blockage. Chimney obstruction can be caused by a buildup of creosote deposits, debris such as leaves and tree limbs, animal nests, animals that have become trapped, and crumbling masonry. Chimney technicians also take note of the amount of combustible deposits inside the liner and, when applicable, make recommendations for chimney cleaning.
A blocked chimney flue is a hazard for a couple of reasons. First, when the chimney flue is obstructed, the materials inside the flue could ignite, causing a chimney fire. There are common misconceptions about the dangers of chimney fires. Please note:
• It is important to understand that chimney fires often start hazardous house fires and that it is only a myth that they can help homeowners save money because they supposedly burn out chimney creosote.
The second reason an obstructed flue is hazardous is because if you light a fire, toxic combustion gases will go into your home instead of out of the chimney. The toxic fumes include carbon monoxide, which is a deadly substance that has been dubbed “The Silent Killer.”
Appliance Installation and Connections
During a chimney inspection, a chimney technician will carefully check the installation and connections of hearth appliances. Anytime a hearth appliance is incorrectly installed, the home and family could potentially be in danger anytime the fireplace or stove is used.
Basic Structural Soundness
Chimney exteriors are vulnerable to moisture damage. If water intrusion occurs, repairs need to be made as soon as possible. Otherwise, if moisture continues seeping into the masonry system, destruction of all affected masonry becomes imminent. Unless repairs are made, the chimney structure will eventually begin to lean and could collapse entirely.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection with Chimney Solutions
If you live in the Atlanta GA area, contact the trusted chimney sweep experts at Chimney Solutions. We are located in Alpharetta GA, and you can call us at (770) 771-5501 today to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection. As called for in each level of chimney inspection, all essential areas will be examined by our chimney sweeps.