Chimney Inspections Atlanta GA | 3 Levels of Chimney Inspections
Chimney inspections can prevent additional damage and detect problems with chimneys throughout the Atlanta area including Sandy Springs, Duluth, Dunwoody, Norcross, Gwinnett, Woodstock, Marietta, Lawrenceville, Smyrna and more.
An annual chimney inspection is as important as an annual chimney cleaning, if not more so. We offer professional chimney inspections on three different levels, as described further below. In Atlanta, Chimney Solutions is the chimney sweep company people have trusted with their fireplaces, wood stoves, factory-built fireplaces, furnaces, and all other combustion heating systems for going on 15 years.
Breakdowns in the chimney system are not always apparent, and many homeowners make the mistake of thinking an unused fireplace is problem-free. One of the most dangerous situations is when homeowners have not used their fireplace for years and assume that it’s ready to use. The fact is that deterioration of the chimney could have occurred since the last usage, or there could be blockage in the system. These unseen issues could cause a house fire or could expose the household to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Many of the serious, sometimes fatal, house fires which occur in the U.S. every year involve the use of a neglected fireplace for the first time in a long while.
It’s always important to repair a damaged chimney as soon as possible, to avoid a potential house fire. Sometimes the only way to know that chimney repair is needed is with a chimney inspection. The task of inspecting a chimney is different from cleaning it because the focus of the work is not the same. It’s a good idea to have a chimney inspected first, actually, because the chimney sweep may find that a chimney cleaning isn’t needed quite yet. Even when an Atlanta homeowner very rarely uses a well-maintained fireplace and then only burns seasoned wood an inspection is still recommended to confirm that the chimney has not undergone any type of damage since the last chimney inspection.
The following are the three levels of chimney inspections as established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
Level 1 Chimney Inspection
A Level 1 chimney inspection is needed if the following conditions apply:
- The chimney performance hasn’t noticeably changed.
- The appliance and venting system has not changed.
- You simply need to be assured of the continued safe use of the chimney and fireplace, wood stove, or other heating system.
Level 1 chimney inspections should be performed annually and are best scheduled at the same time as a chimney cleaning. The chimney inspection technician will examine the readily accessible interior and exterior parts of the chimney and chimney connection, including the:
Smoke chamber • Firebox • Damper • Stovepipe • Chimney Cap • Chimney Crown • Chimney Exterior • Masonry • Mortar Joints • Defect in the Chimney Structure or Chimney Flue
The technician will also check to determine whether or not the entire chimney system is clear of blockage or combustible deposits. On the roof the chimney sweeps will look for cracks or defects in the exterior of the structure.
Level 2 Chimney Inspection
A Level 2 chimney inspection is needed if one or more of the following conditions apply:
- You recently purchased the home, and you are not familiar with the performance of the chimney.
- You plan to make modifications to your chimney or heating system.
- There was recently a fire in the chimney.
- A Level 2 chimney inspection, in addition to including everything covered in Level 1, involves an in-depth inspection of the entire chimney system, along with the wood stove, furnace, or other appliance. All internal joints and surfaces will be looked at. A special video camera is used to take a close look at the inside of the flue and chimney, top to bottom. Any areas of concern which are identified are written up in a report for the homeowner.
Level 3 Chimney Inspection
Level 3 chimney inspections, which are very rare, involve everything in the first two levels plus the full investigation of potential deterioration in areas which are not readily accessible. Components of the heating system may need to be removed, such as bricks, metal flue pipes, masonry, chimney crowns, interior walls of the chimney, and more. A Level 3 inspection is required only when Level 1 and 2 inspections reveal a serious problem that requires immediate action.