Taking care of issues when they arise is paramount to keeping your chimney safe. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, your chimney, fireplace, and vents should be inspected once per year. During a chimney inspection, Champion Chimneys will look for structural damage and deposit buildup. Our technicians will also check clearances and may suggest tips to improve the use of your fireplace.
A chimney inspection can uncover structural damage or reveal fire hazards such as animal nests or debris blocking the flue. If you have a gas fireplace, it’s still important to get your chimney inspected. A modern furnace may cause issues with an average flue intended to vent an older generation of furnace.
Inspection Levels Checklist
The National Fire Protection Association institutes standard inspection levels for fireplaces, stoves, and other venting systems. These levels for chimneys, fireplaces, vents, and solid fuel-burning appliances are defined as Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.
If you aren’t sure what level of inspection will be most appropriate for your chimney and venting system, you can ask your certified technician. Each inspection level holds different protocols for ensuring the safety of your chimney.
Level One Chimney Inspection
A Level 1 chimney inspection is the most basic inspection for business or homeowners. If you fall into one of the following categories, you may only need a Level 1 inspection.
- You have been using and plan to use your fireplace or wood-burning stove just as you have in prior years and your venting systems have not changed.
- Your chimney has been well-kept and you have been receiving annual cleaning or inspections.
In this type of inspection, our chimney technician will check for structural soundness, make sure all connections are accurate, and see if any deposit buildup needs to be cleared. It is generally a quick check of easily accessible portions of your chimney and flue.
Level 2 Chimney Inspection
A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the chimney or venting system or there is a change in ownership. If any of the following sound familiar to you, a Level 2 chimney inspection may be right for you.
- You’ve changed your fireplace or wood-burning stove by fuel type, shape, material, the flue, or any other area that is different from usage in previous years.
- You’ve bought or sold a home or business with a fireplace.
- Your chimney or fireplace has sustained weather damage or a fire.
- You’ve used your chimney for an extended period of time.
A Level 2 inspection contains the same steps as a Level 1, plus a thorough inspection of hidden views such as your attic or crawl space. Our chimney technicians may use a video recording device, with your permission, to check these areas and address any resulting issues.
Level 3 Chimney Inspection
A Level 3 chimney inspection addresses all areas in both levels one and two as well as the presence of serious hazards or any of the following.
- Your chimney has fire hazards present.
- There is a need to determine the condition of the chimney system.
- You have never had a chimney inspection.
When the removal of any components of the building or chimney is required, that will be a result of a Level 3 chimney inspection. Our Maryland chimney technicians will address fire hazards and may need to remove parts of the chimney to be able to inspect.
About Champion Chimneys Inspections
Our certified crew has been providing chimney inspections and chimney sweeping across Maryland, including Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County for over 15 years. We prepare a detailed report after every inspection.
Don’t take your chances with a chimney that’s dirty or structurally unsound. Contact our professionals at Champion Chimneys, Inc. today for a proper inspection.