What you need to know about chimney inspection levels
Let Southern Chimneys help you figure out the level of inspection you need.
Do you realize how important your chimney is to the health and safety of your home? It’s one of the major components of your home’s safety and energy costs, yet it often gets ignored. Southern Chimneys is out to change that! If it’s been over a year since you’ve had one…it’s time for a chimney inspection.
Chimney Inspection Levels
There are technically three levels of inspection set by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and followed by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). We’ll let you know right from the jump that Southern Chimneys typically performs a Level 2 Inspection and that’s what you’ll most likely need from us. But what are the three types? (taken from the CSIA website)
Level 1 – this is a general, visual, 18-pt., safety inspection that can determine if and when work is needed to be done at the lowest cost. If your appliance or your venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system as you have in the past, then a Level 1 inspection is a minimum requirement. A Level 1 inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service, under the same conditions, and with the continued use of the same appliance.
In a Level 1 inspection, your technician will be looking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.
Level 2 – A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include a change in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in the flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted.
There are no specialty tools (i.e. demolition equipment) required to open doors, panels or coverings in performing a Level 2 inspection. A Level 2 inspection shall also include a visual inspection by video scanning or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners incorporated within the chimney. No removal or destruction of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure or finish shall be required by a Level 2 inspection.
Level 3 – When a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection suggests a hidden hazard and the evaluation cannot be performed without special tools to access concealed areas of the chimney or flue, a Level 3 inspection is recommended. A Level 3 inspection addresses the proper construction and the condition of concealed portions of the chimney structure and the flue. Removal or destruction, as necessary, of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure, will be required for the completion of a Level 3 inspection.
Watch this helpful video from CSIA that explains the three types of inspections:
Let Southern Chimneys help you with whichever inspection you need.
Get your chimney inspection done with Southern Chimneys! We’ll schedule a time to come look things over and perform an inspection. You can also schedule a cleaning or repair if you wind up needing it. But you should hurry and call now! Time is running out to get things done before the winter months!
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