If you have a fireplace or heating stove in your house, you likely know that an annual chimney sweeping and inspection is crucial to ensuring that your hearth appliance and chimney are safe for use. But when you call to schedule your sweeping and inspection, you might find yourself overwhelmed when you’re asked what type of inspection you need. There are three levels of chimney inspection, as taught by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Which type of inspection you need depends on your situation. Here’s what you need to know about the different types of inspections and when to schedule which type.

Level 1 Chimney Inspection3 Levels of Chimney Inspections Image - Asheville NC - Environmental Chimney

As you might suspect, a Level 1 chimney inspection is the most basic type of chimney inspections. During a Level 1 chimney inspection, your chimney sweep will inspect all visible portions of your chimney, inside and out. The chimney sweep will make sure that:

  1. nothing is blocking your chimney,
  2. that your chimney structure and flue are sound,
  3. and that all basic hearth connections are in place and sturdy.

If you have your chimney swept and inspected every year, a Level 1 inspection is what you need. Level 1 inspections are recommended if you plan to continue using your existing hearth appliance and if no changes have been made to your hearth or your chimney since your last inspection.

Level 2 Chimney Inspection

A Level 2 chimney inspection builds on the offerings of a Level 1 chimney inspection. A Level 2 inspection goes further by including an inspection of the portions of the chimney that can be accessed through panels or attics, though nothing is permanently altered or removed to access the chimney. It also includes an inspection of the inside of the chimney flue with the help of a specialty camera. A Level 2 chimney inspection is recommended when changes have been made to the chimney or fireplace, such as a relining, a new insert or a change in fuel type, when damage from the weather or a potential chimney fire is suspected, or during the transfer or property.

Level 3 Chimney Inspection

A Level 3 chimney inspection is performed when a Level 2 inspection suggests that damage has been sustained to an inaccessible portion of the chimney. During a Level 3 inspection, portions of the chimney or building are deconstructed to gain full access to the chimney and suspected chimney damage so that a full assessment of the damage can be made.

Regardless of what type of chimney inspection you need, Environmental Chimney Service can help! Whether you need your regular annual Level 1 inspection; a Level 2 inspection on your new home or building, or on your altered or potentially damaged chimney; or a Level 3 inspection on a chimney you know is harboring concealed damage, call Environmental Chimney Service to schedule an appointment today!