If we had a potential danger lurking in our homes, we'd surely want to know about it and do everything we could to keep our family safe.
We often think about keeping up with our HVAC units, gas lines, and water heaters, but we have something else you'll want to add to your list of items to inspect in your home.
Let's ask you this. When was the last time you had a chimney inspection?
Let's take a look at what that entails and the best ways to know when you need one. After all, there's an average of 25,000 chimney fires in the U.S. each year which accounts for more than $125 million in damage to our homes.
When Do I Need A Chimney Inspection?
Cleaning your chimney regularly is important, and you'll also need to have it inspected regularly for things like cracks, melting, or warping to the brick or stone inside. In order to make sure everything is working properly, you should have your chimney inspected once a year.
Many people think it only needs to be inspected when it's used often, but if you don't use your chimney a lot, animals can nest inside or you could have some deterioration that needs to be addressed.
What Type of Chimney Inspection Do I Need?
There are three different types of inspections and which one you need depends on the age and condition of your chimney.
Whether attached to a fireplace or wood stove, a level 1 inspection will service the parts the technicians have easy access to. The tech will look at the structure of the chimney and the connections of all the parts. This is a good choice if your chimney, fireplace, or stove are newer and have never been altered.
If you were to look up your chimney, you wouldn't be able to see any cracks in the flue liner with the naked eye. Your flue liner is made up of either metal, clay, or ceramic and is designed to help all materials inside make their way up and out of the chimney.
A level two inspection is needed if your flue liner has been replaced or you have made a change to the type of fuel your appliance or fireplace uses.
You'll need to hire a chimney inspector who can use a special camera to inspect the chimney for damage.
A level 3 inspection adds the removal of certain components of the chimney when necessary. This kind of inspection is done when a level 1 or 2 inspection shows there could be significant problems with your structure. In extreme cases, this could include tearing out drywall to fully access hidden areas of the chimney.
Schedule Your Chimney Inspection or Chimney Repair
You want a licensed professional to conduct this work since improper ventilation or other safety issues could be a real danger if not handled by someone who knows what they're doing.
Keep in mind, a home inspector generally doesn't inspect the chimney, so if you recently bought a home or you are unsure of the last time it was inspected, you'll want to call in an expert to take a look.