What to expect during a chimney inspection. Since they tend to be the least-used portions of the house, it can be easy to ignore your chimney. However, the amount of junk that can get trapped in the flue may become a danger to your home. 

For one thing, chimney fires can be an extreme safety hazard, particularly if you happen to have a wood-burning fireplace. In fact, chimneys are the cause of 42% of house fires. This happens because of residual, dust, pests, or soot that wedges itself into the heart of the sweep. 

Wood burning fireplaces increase your chance of a fire because of a material known as creosote. This gets stuck to the side of the flue, resulting in unplanned fires that can reignite when left unchecked. The most dangerous part about these fires is that they tend to spark at the top of the fireplace, letting it go undetected before reaching other portions of the house. 

The good news is that fires can be prevented, and a chimney inspection can help you get there. Not only do they keep you and your household safe, but it prevents the need for chimney repair, dust buildup, and carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Indianapolis Brick + Ember Outfitters offers these services to you if you are in need of a routine chimney sweep. If you are thinking about getting your chimney examined, here are some things that you should know prior to an inspection. 

Different Levels

Overall, a typical inspection would include a quick sweep, an observation of possible damage, and a maintaining of structural integrity. However, there are actually three different types of inspections varying in price, service, and specialty. When your inspector arrives, they will briefly oversee the home and tell you what kind of inspection might be best for you. 

Level I

This will allow for easy accessibility to the chimney. No tools will be necessary, and it is a sign that the chimney is well kept. A proper level I chimney inspection will be utilized when there is little to no damage to the structure. This is a normal level for annual inspections that are done on a regular basis. 

Level II

This level is more extensive, often including extra equipment on top of a chimney sweep. The inspector will often use a camera to look for any interior damage they may have missed. This type of inspection is done if you have changed something in your home, such as a heating system, or if you feel there is damage following the aftermath of a storm. If you are selling your house, it is required that a minimum level II inspection is done.

Level III

This is the most intense type of inspection. Depending on the severity of the damage, an inspector may need to get into hard-to-reach areas. This would be done by cutting into the masonry, drywall, or stone to crawl into particular parts of the chimney. Because it is so invasive, a proper inspection of this kind would include a consultation with your chimney services. Your inspector would work with you to figure out whether or not a chimney repair project would need to be added on top of the sweep. 

Be Prepared With Your Own Observations

No one knows your house better than you, so if you have been noticing issues that may be attributed to your fireplace, let your inspector know. By making your own observations and paying close attention to the state of your chimney, you could prevent damage later on.

Before your inspection, take a quick look at your chimney’s exterior and interior surroundings. Are you noticing any cracks in the masonry? Is the wallpaper around your fireplace peeling? Have you noticed pests in your house? All of these things could have to do with your chimney, so be sure to let your inspectors know about it. 

Expect a Chimney Sweep Recommendation

No matter the outcome, a chimney service will likely recommend getting an annual chimney sweep. It only takes a brief observation for the inspector to know whether it has had a recent sweep or not, and they will be able to tell you what you need immediately. 

Although it may seem tempting to hold off on it for another year, a basic chimney sweep could possibly save your life. Not only does it prevent fires, but it could greatly reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning occurring in your home, a deadly health hazard. 

Don’t wait for something bad to happen before getting a chimney sweep. If an inspector recommends it, take the opportunity to get it done. 

Get Your Chimney Inspected With B+E 

At Brick + Ember Outfitters Indianapolis, we understand how important your home is to you. If you are feeling that something is wrong with your chimney or you are simply in need of a routine inspection, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We welcome any questions you have about our services. If you would like to inquire about an inspection or schedule an appointment, please reach out to us at 317-500-1250 or office@brickandember.com