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Chimmey Inspections
Having your chimney inspected a minimum of once a year will ensure you and your family remain safe while enjoying all the efficiency benefits of having a fireplace. All it takes is one simple check by a professional and you will be able to enjoy a beautiful fire for many, many years. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has put very strict guidelines in place for professional chimney sweeps, as you will see from the process listed below from the three levels of inspection:

Level I This inspection is when the chimney structure is checked along with the flue. In other words, any readily accessible areas would be checked, including places that would not require the use of a ladder or tools. When having a Level I inspection, the goal is to make sure these areas are not ostructed.

With this type of inspection, it would generally include an annual chimney inspection, routine work of the venting system, which does include chimney sweeping, direct replacement of a connected appliance, or other inspections that would be warranted.

Level II Typically, a Level II inspection is again limited to accessible areas of both chimney and appliance installation. These areas are considered those that can be reached without having to do any type of destructive action to get to the area. What would be included is moving a panel or door, and may also include the use of ladders or hand tools.

The professional will check the interior of the chimney using camera scanning or a similar type of equipment and will make sure the flue size is appropriate for the fireplace. Connected appliances may be added or removed, the flue lining checked, and the operating function of the chimney to ensure there is no damage. Generally, a Level II inspection is performed on a home when the homeowner is selling it.

Level III This would include everything in Level I and II inspections and would include non-accessible areas, which are areas that cannot be reached without destroying or damage the chimney. Additionally, the Level III inspection would require special tools be used to check into hard-to-reach areas.

Typically, this level of inspection would be necessary if there is evidence or strong suspect that the chimney has significant damage. The other time the professional would use this level of inspection is if there is a hazard detected during a Level I or II inspection.

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