Why a Level 2 Inspection is Crucial To Buying A Home
Moving into a new home should be a joyous occasion, not a time for regrets. If you don’t schedule a Level 2 chimney inspection before buying a home with a fireplace, however, you may have plenty of remorse. A common mistake homebuyers often make is assuming that a home inspection that was done on a prospective house included inspection of the chimney by an expert. Rarely is that the case. This type of error is potentially dangerous, considering that thousands of home fires occur each year because people wrongly assumed their chimney and fireplace were safe to use.
Why is a Level 2 Inspection Important?
Conducting a thorough check of a chimney and fireplace is not a requirement of home inspectors, and those who conduct themselves ethically don’t go through the motions of checking the chimney flue. Someone with no training or equipment for chimney inspections could mislead homeowners into believing they’ve received a thumbs-up from a professional, indicating it’s safe to use the fireplace.
What frequently follows the mere assumption that a professional checked a fireplace and chimney is disappointment. Considering the fact that home values increase with the existence of a fireplace, getting stuck with a defective chimney is doubly expensive.
Sellers can regret the failure to get a Level 2 inspection as much as anyone since they could potentially be held liable for costs associated with the chimney at their former residence.
What is Involved with Inspection of a Chimney and Fireplace for New Homes?
For a Level 2 chimney inspection to be conducted properly, it must be performed by a chimney professional who has undergone applicable training. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a leading organization in fire safety, established guidelines for three types of NFPA chimney inspections: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. In many locations, a Level 2 chimney inspection is required before buying or selling property that has a fireplace.
Level 1 Inspection
During an NFPA Level 1 chimney inspection, readily accessible chimney and fireplace components are visually checked. Other parts of the venting system that may be out of sight are not looked at.
Level 2 Inspection
Level 2 inspections include the steps in Level 1 plus a more in-depth investigation of the venting system. A Level 2 chimney inspection is either required or highly recommended in three circumstances:
- When selling or buying property with a fireplace.
- When the home has been damaged by severe weather or a fire and the chimney survived.
- When the chimney will be used for an extended period.
During Level 2 inspections, the chimney expert may access the attic and/or basement to check for signs of a chimney leak or other problems. In addition, a specialized inspection video camera is used and provides a close-up view of the chimney flue from top to bottom. The purpose is to find flue liner damage that has gone undetected. It is an essential safety issue to ensure that the chimney flue is free of any defect. The chimney exterior is also examined, and experts look for signs of moisture damage. If there is moisture in the venting system, repairs are needed.
Level 3 Inspection
Level 3 chimney inspections include all of the above plus necessary destruction or dismantling of parts for complete access to problem areas.
Contact NFPA Chimney Inspectors
Contact the certified chimney experts at Chimney Solutions by calling (770) 255-1300. Our friendly professionals have the training and certifications required to provide the best chimney services and most reliable Level 2 Chimney Inspections in Atlanta and throughout the surrounding area. Call us before you buy or sell your fireplace-equipped home, and enjoy your new place of residence!