Understanding the Different Levels of Chimney Inspections


To keep your chimney and fireplace working efficiently, you need to keep up with a professional maintenance routine that includes sweeps and inspections. There can be hidden damage inside the walls of your chimney that can lead to dangerous hazards, including chimney fires and carbon monoxide leaks. The only way to know if your chimney contains these hazards is to have it professionally inspected by a chimney sweep, preferably one who is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). When you hire a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to inspect your chimney, you can trust that your chimney will receive the appropriate level of inspection.

If you live in the Elkton, Maryland area, Ace Chimney Sweeps has been providing all three levels of professional chimney inspections for over 20 years. We are often asked by our customers about the differences between the levels of inspections. We want to better explain these so you can understand which one you may need.

Level One

When you have your chimney swept each year, it includes a Level 1 chimney inspection. The most basic of the three levels, this level includes an examination of the readily accessible parts of the interior and exterior of your chimney. The accessible parts of the appliance and its connection to the chimney will also be inspected. Ace Chimney Sweeps will check to be sure your chimney and fireplace are safe and sound as well as free from blockages and flammable creosote deposits.

Level Two

If you are buying or selling a home, you will need to schedule an appointment for a Level 2 chimney inspection. This level requires a video of the inspection process, which is important for insurance purposes if problems are found. You will also need a Level 2 inspection if your chimney has had an operational malfunction (a chimney fire, for example). This is also true if your home has experienced an external event, such as an earthquake or a lightning strike, that could cause a malfunction. This level of inspection is also recommended if any changes have been made to your system, including a fuel change or a relining upgrade. A Level 2 inspection includes every service you receive in a Level 1 as well as the video scanning and a visual check of the attic, basement, and/or crawl space.

Level Three

If a problem is found in a Level 1 or 2 inspection that needs further investigation, Ace Chimney Sweeps will recommend a Level 3 inspection of your chimney to solve the problem. This level of inspection may require the removal of certain components of your chimney, such as an interior wall or the chimney crown, to be able to diagnose the issue. If we feel this level of inspection is absolutely necessary, we will provide you with written documents and photographic evidence of why we need to perform a Level 3 chimney inspection.

Your safety is the reason why Ace Chimney Sweeps offers the three levels of inspections. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for your annual chimney maintenance services.

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