Chimney / Fireplace Inspection
Safety inspections of chimneys are an important service that we perform. Safety inspections come in many forms and you should be aware that not all inspections are alike. During the course of a chimney sweeping, the inspector will be looking out for any visible problems and will advise you of any problems or integrity issues that he/she encounters. This is performed with every annual sweep and is the most basic of inspections but will uncover most serious problems.
Level II inspection is performed during a real estate transaction, transfer of property or when a defect is found during a level I inspection.
A chimney scan using video inspection is recommended when buying a home to accurately assess the condition of the chimney liner for hidden breaching such as cracks, a deteriorated thimble and missing mortar joints.
Level II inspection consists of a level I inspection, looking in the crawl space and attic (if accessible) where no harm would come to person or property.
Did you know you could have hidden damage to your chimney’s interior without any visible signs on the exterior? This damage can be extremely dangerous to you and your family. Chimney flue systems are constructed of stacked clay flues tiles that form a sealed liner to safely ventilate fireplaces, wood stoves and furnaces. When properly sealed, the chimney flue efficiently ventilates the hazardous chemicals out of the home. However, cracks in the flue tiles or interior damage, usually caused by sudden occurrences such as a chimney fire, will jeopardize the integrity of the system. By code, your chimney must then be discontinued from use or either repaired or replaced.
Through the use of a special camera, professional chimney contractors can inspect your fireplace and chimney flue to detect cracks, or missing mortar joints. If damage is detected, one of three repair processes can be used—chimney demolition, relining or slip casting.
Level III inspection is carried out when material of the building or chimney structure needs to be removed to gain accesses for the inspection.
Types of Chimney Cleaners
Fireplace cleaning includes a visual inspection and brushing of flaky/powdery creosote buildup from the flue, smoke chamber and firebox. Industry standard brushes, rods and vacuum are used and the area is protected by drop cloths/tarps.
Poultice Creosote Remover
Sometimes a standard sweep is not enough for 3rd degree creosote (often also referred to as glazed). If ignited, this glaze can crack and damage both the flue and chimney.
PCR is an extra service if needed, performed on 3rd degree creosote. Completely removes a build-up of glaze (baked-on creosote) and eliminates the need for potentially destructive cleaning methods..
Furnace flue cleaning includes removal of and brushing out of water heater and furnace connectors to the flue. This is done with industry standard brushes and rods. A visual inspection looking for any softening, deterioration, nesting or other debris is included for the connectors and flue.
Blockage removal can be performed if an animal has nested in your chimney. The blockage pictured below on the left was caused by a squirrel nesting; the picture on the right is the removed blockage. Raccoons and birds often nest also.
Wood-burning stove standard cleaning includes a visual inspection and sweeping of the connector pipe from stove to flue termination.