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Chimney Inspection

A home inspection is very important to have completed when you are purchasing a home. However, one key area that can often go overlooked is your chimney. This is because home inspectors are not certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Find out why you should have a CSIA Chimney Inspection completed before buying or selling a home. 

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIACertified Chimney Sweep credential is the nationally recognized standard for the chimney industry. This certification is a reflection of a chimney sweep’s knowledge about the evaluation and maintenance of chimney and venting systems. CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps undergo extensive classroom and field training to meet this standard. Continuing Education or re-examination is required every three years to maintain their certification.

When you have a home inspection completed, the Home Inspector’s report will usually cover the condition of the home’s heating and air system; interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components, and chimney.  

Typically, the chimney inspection portion of a Home Inspector’s report is for a visual inspection of structural soundness. However, a Home Inspector’s report typically does NOT report on the actual functionality of the chimney system. A report on the functionality of the chimney system is the actual kind of report that you need and would receive from a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.

Having one of our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps inspect all the chimneys in a property PRIOR TO PURCHASE can potentially save you thousands of dollars in required repairs from undetected, uninspected areas of your chimney system.


Level 1 Chimney Inspection
A Level 1 Chimney Inspection is the minimum level of inspection that you should have performed on your chimney. This is an annual inspection when no changes have been made to your appliance or your venting system, and you plan to use your system as you have in the past. (Please Note: When purchasing a home, we do NOT recommend this level of inspection, since you do not know the history of the chimney or the system.)

When performing a Level 1 Chimney Inspection, our chimney service technician will examine the “Readily- Accessible” portions of the chimney exterior and interior. “Readily-Accessible” means visible, or capable of being exposed, for operation, inspection, maintenance or repair without the use of tools to open or remove doors, panels or coverings.  

Next, the “Accessible” portions of the appliance and the chimney connection should be inspected. “Accessible” means it may require the use of commonly available tools to remove doors, panels or coverings, but will not damage the chimney or building structure or finish. Our technician will be checking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure and the flue system as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. Our technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstructions and combustible deposits.

A Level 1 Chimney Inspection is considered a non-destructive inspection.

Level 2 Chimney Inspection
If you made any changes to your system since it was last inspected by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, then you will need to get a Level 2 Chimney Inspection. Changes include a change in your fuel type (for example, from gas to wood), changes to your flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance. This is also the inspection you should have completed before you finalize the purchase your home. A Level 2 Chimney Inspection includes a video inspection by video scanning or other means in order to examine all the internal surfaces and joints of all the flue liners in the chimney. A Level 2 Chimney Inspection will also include everything in a Level 1 Chimney Inspection.

A Level 2 Chimney Inspection is considered a non-destructive inspection.

Level 3 Chimney Inspection
A Level 3 Chimney Inspection includes all areas and items checked in a Level 1 and Level 2 Chimney Inspection, as well as the removal of certain components of the building or chimney where necessary.  A Level 3 Chimney Inspection is considered a “destructive” inspection because it will require the removal of components (i.e., chimney crown or interior chimney wall).

A Level 3 Chimney inspection is ONLY required when it is necessary to gain access to areas that are the subject of the inspection and are unable to be inspected by any other means.

A home inspector might be able to determine if a chimney is straight, or observe visible damage such as leaks. But to most home inspectors, a brick is a brick. However, a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will be able to determine if your chimney is constructed of the proper materials and ensure that your chimney is up to current code requirements.

It is in both the buyers and the sellers best interest to have a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep perform a Level 2 Chimney Inspection performed BEFORE a home is sold.

At Home Safe Hearth and Chimney, we have CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps on staff.  It is our priority to keep your family safe and ensure a proper working chimney.

Call us today at 316-265-9828 to set up your chimney inspection to make sure you know the EXACT condition of the chimneys and flues in what is potentially your largest investment.

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