An annual chimney inspection is paramount for the health of your home. Whether or not you use your chimney regularly, you need to ensure that it stays functionally safe and efficient. While most homeowners know the importance of a regular chimney inspection, many are unaware of the different degrees of chimney inspections and what type you should call to schedule. Here is a breakdown of the different levels of chimney inspections and when they’re needed.


Level 1

A level one chimney inspection is the most basic level. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends this level of inspection for chimneys that have experienced no significant changes recently and are routinely serviced and used properly. The inspection will cover both the interior and exterior of the chimney, but it will be limited to the readily accessible parts of the chimney. This includes portions that can be accessed with either no tools or just very basic tools. The technician will determine if there are any obstructions and if the chimney and flue are structurally sound. From there, he or she will be able to recommend further action, if needed.


Level 2

A level two chimney inspection is needed upon any alteration to the chimney. If you have a new flue, fuel system, or chimney liner, you need to have a level two inspection performed by a certified chimney sweep. Additionally, a level two inspection is required when a property is purchased by or transferred to a new owner. This level of inspection is also applicable if there has been any damage or an event that may have caused damage, such as a natural disaster, weather event, or a building fire.


This type of inspection doesn’t require any heavy tools. The technician will do much of what’s included in a level one inspection. He or she will also use video scanning equipment to ensure that vital parts of the chimney are intact and functioning as designed. The chimney will not be damaged or disassembled during this type of inspection. A level two inspection may reveal the need for a level three inspection.


Level 3

If a level one or level two inspection has revealed serious problems that need additional clarification, the technician will call for a level three inspection. This type of inspection goes far beyond the first two types of chimney inspections. The technician will perform all tasks associated with the first two levels of inspections, but he or she will also remove parts of the building or chimney as needed to truly asses the problem. Some parts that may be removed, include the chimney cap or crown and portions of the interior wall. This may sound destructive, but this type of inspection is only done when there are serious problems hiding and a level one or level two inspection are insufficient. Once the inspection and repairs are made, the chimney will be repaired as necessary.


At Brick + Ember Outfitters, we want all homeowners to have safe, functional and efficient chimneys. An annual chimney inspection is the best way to ensure your home’s chimney is free of any issues. Reach out no matter what level of chimney inspection you need. We offer an $89 chimney sweep and inspection service, which is less expensive than our competitors. If you’ve paid more in the past, call to schedule an appointment today.