When Do You Need a Chimney Inspection?
Sometimes all you need to ensure home safety is to know the right questions to ask, and when do you need a chimney inspection is one of those questions. Out-of-sight out-of-mind is an approach to chimneys that results in dangerous chimney fires and out-of-control home fires every year. Using your fireplace after a chimney inspection ensures safe fireplace use, so follow the advice of objective fire safety experts and schedule yours today.
Two Times When You Need a Chimney Inspection
The above-referenced fire safety experts include the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These respected fire safety authorities and others agree that every chimney should be scheduled for an annual inspection even if the chimney is not actively being used in winter.
There are times when an annual chimney inspection is not enough. Read on to learn what a chimney inspection involves and when an additional chimney inspection is needed.
What is a Chimney Inspection?
From year to year, you may need a Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 chimney inspection. All readily accessible components of a chimney and fireplace or stove are checked when you have a Level 1 chimney inspection. The same is true of Level 2 and Level 3 except that additional steps are included. The use of a camera to get a detailed look at the inside of the chimney flue comes with a Level 2 chimney inspection. When a Level 3 inspection is needed, it’s because a partial tear-down of the chimney is necessary to check for concealed damage.
When chimney inspections are neglected, dangerous issues can easily go undetected. Ensuring the safe operation of your chimney and fireplace or stove involves scheduling annual chimney inspections. The following are among the issues that may arise at any time. When problems become obvious, another inspection is needed to determine the extent of the apparent damages and what repairs should be done.
If you see white staining on your chimney, also known as efflorescence, it is evidence of moisture in the masonry. It means that moisture intrusion has occurred in the masonry system. It occurs when the masonry contains soluble salt. The mix of water and salt moves through the masonry system to the chimney exterior, leaving white staining. The discoloration isn’t the problem, though. Moisture in the masonry system causes irreversible destruction of the bricks. The affected bricks must be replaced. Otherwise, the deterioration will cause the chimney to lean and potentially collapse.
Water Stains Inside Your Walls or Ceiling
Leaky chimneys are not uncommon, but they are often difficult to detect at the onset of the issue. Once a leak has progressed significantly, your home interior could be affected. If you see water stains on your walls or ceilings in close proximity to the chimney, schedule a chimney inspection as quickly as possible. Address the problem sooner rather than later so that you can decrease the cost of chimney repairs before they get worse.
There are other problems to watch for, as well. For a complete rundown of potential chimney problems or to schedule a chimney inspection, contact the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Solutions. Call (770) 771-5501 today if you live in the Alpharetta GA area to schedule an appointment.