When it comes to keeping your chimney system in good condition, few things are as important as a chimney inspection. Not only can chimney inspections identify the causes of ongoing chimney problems, but they can also help spot areas of minor deterioration before they turn into major damage. However, despite the effectiveness of inspections only a small portion of the actual chimney can be seen with the naked eye. Because of this, a video inspection may be needed.
Three levels of chimney inspection
The National Fire Protection Association created three levels of chimney inspection. The level of chimney inspection you are having performed depends on a number of factors including the age of your chimney system, how well it has been maintained in the past, if any changes to the system have been made, if it has been damaged, or if there are any performance problems.
- Level 1 chimney inspections are the most basic, but in no way leave anything important out. This type of inspection is best for fireplaces with no operating issues or changes; the entirety of the accessible interior and exterior of the fireplace and chimney are inspected for signs of damage or deterioration.
- Level 2 chimney inspections are more in depth and often involve the use of technology such as closed circuit cameras. Doing this allows the chimney technicians to see otherwise inaccessible portions of the chimney. This kind of inspection is used during real estate transactions or if any minor changes have been made to the system, such as installed a new insert.
- Level 3 chimney inspections are the most in depth, and are often only recommended as a last resort. If a chimney has been seriously damaged during an earthquake or other natural disaster, a Level 3 inspection may be used to see if the fireplace is still structurally safe to use. This level of inspection often involves a portion of the bricks of the chimney being removed.
Why you need a video inspection
Because so much of the chimney is inaccessible, a video inspection can be a valuable tool in understanding the condition of your chimney system. The following are three of the many examples why you might want to have a chimney video inspection.
- Buying a home. Before you make the biggest purchase of your life, consider having the chimney checked. Most home inspectors lack beyond cursory understanding of fireplaces and chimneys and therefore many not spot future potential problems.
- Selling a home. Nothing gives buyers more peace of mind that knowing a part of the home is 100% safe and worry free. Having a video scan done can provide potential buyers with tangible proof of the status of the chimney.
- Chimney fire or natural disaster. If you suffered from a chimney fire – no matter how small it may have been – a video inspection can determine whether or not it is safe to continue using the fireplace.
A video chimney inspection can give you a complete picture of the condition of your chimney. Whether you have an ongoing problem that needs to be resolved or simply want to make sure everything is safe to use, a video inspection can be a helpful diagnostic tool. To schedule your video chimney inspection, contact Mason’s Chimney Service today.