Do you remember the classic 90’s cartoon Inspector Gadget? Well, you can think of our expert certified chimney technicians as your very own Inspector Gadget specializing in all things chimney related. Many of our customers are shocked to learn that their chimneys need to be inspected – and that different types of inspections exist. Lucky for them (and for you) HIghpoint Chimney Services is here to help with all of your chimney and fireplace needs.

Chimney Inspection Basics

a damaged masonry chimney on a gay roofChimney inspections are done to make sure that your home’s chimney is safe to use. Your home’s chimney system is made up of different components that all play a role in helping you enjoy a warm home and cozy fire while keeping the smoke, soot, creosote, and other unwanted byproducts out of your home.

Because your chimney is located outside of your home, it’s susceptible to damage and debris from things like severe weather and cute little critters who want a cozy home. In addition, when things like soot and creosote build up inside, they can increase the likelihood of a chimney fire happening – which is definitely something you want to avoid.

All that build up can also cause the airflow to be blocked, which can mean that harmful carbon monoxide, smoke, soot, and more will end up back in your home – again, something you don’t want happening. Having your chimney inspected allows our certified technicians to see if your chimney has experienced any damage or if there are any other potential problems that need to be addressed. 

The Three Levels of Chimney Inspections

When it comes to chimney inspections, there are three different levels used depending on the need or circumstances of that specific home and chimney. The three levels focus on the following:

  • Level I: This is the most basic, simple visual inspection of the components of your chimney that are visible to a technician from both the inside and the outside of your home. This is acceptable if you haven’t made any changes to how you use your system (like the type of fuel or how often you use it).
  • Level II: This level includes a visual inspection, but it also includes specialized video equipment that allows us to really see all interior components of your chimney system. 
  • Level III: This is the highest and most intense level of chimney inspection. This is reserved for instances when more extensive damage is suspected deep inside your chimney system. Level III inspections typically involve taking apart pieces of your chimney or removing parts of the home structure to more thoroughly investigate any potential damage.

When Should I Schedule a Level 2 Chimney Inspection?

Level 2 chimney inspections should be scheduled any time a chimney changes ownership – like when buying or selling a home. In these cases, basic real estate inspections are not going to cut it, as your home inspector doesn’t have the knowledge, tools, or training to spot hidden and hard-to-see issues.

This level is also a must if you have experienced or suspect any type of damage from a chimney fire, severe weather, etc. Finally, if you’ve changed up your fuel type or invest in any restorations in the last year, a level 2 inspection should be done before starting your next burn season.

How Often Should I Get My Chimney Inspected?

Your home heating appliance and chimney system should be inspected and cleaned each year, as well as anytime it changes ownership, usage, or experiences damage. That’s not just our recommendation, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) both also recommend this schedule.

a brown and black dog by a fireplace stoveWhy is this such a must? By taking care of this on an annual basis, we are able to stay ahead of the game and catch most issues before they get worse. Think of it like getting the oil changed in your car. Like the saying goes, “Prevention is the best medicine.” The same is true for your chimney.

Trust us when we tell you it’s better to take care of this now, than to end up like one of our customers who ended up with a slew of costly repairs after he continued to use his chimney that had some major blockages. Had he been on top of his yearly maintenance, he would have identified the issues to avoid the blockage before it had the chance to allow smoke, harmful gases, and soot to funnel back into his living room.

The best time of year to do this is late spring and through summer – that way you are in between burn seasons, and any corrective actions, if needed, can be completed long before you want to get that first fire going.

Book With Us Today

Regular chimney inspections are key to keeping your chimney working properly. Whether you purchased a home with a chimney, have concerns about an existing chimney, or are just eager to kick of your first fall fire, Highpoint Chimney Services is a full service chimney company ready to handle all of your chimney needs.

At the end of the day, your chimney system is there to keep your family and home safe and warm, so give our friendly staff a call today at 908-864-4114 or schedule an appointment online to learn more about how we can help with your chimney and fireplace needs.