There are 3 levels of inspections.
A Level 1 chimney inspection is a minimum requirement if your fuel source, appliance or venting system has not changed. Example:
you have not converted from wood to gas or you have not installed a new appliance i.e. wood stove insert, new liner etc. A level 1 inspection is recommended if you plan to use your system as you have in the past and you have had regular (yearly) maintenance on the system.
What to expect during the level 1 inspection:
During a level 1 inspection your chimney technician will inspect the readily accessible areas of the chimney, both interior and exterior as well as the accessible portions of your appliance. What is readily accessible? Defined by the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) exposed, or capable of being exposed, for operation, inspection, maintenance or repair without the use of tools to open or remove doors, panels or coverings. This means your Technician will do a basic visual inspection of your chimney and flue/liner to check that they are structurally sound. This also includes the visual inspection of an appliance install and connections. The technician will also check to be sure that the venting system is free of obstructions or combustible material.
A level 2 is required when: any changes have been made to the system (changing your fuel source, installing a new appliance or changing the venting system). A level 2 is also required when there will be a sale or transfer of a property or after a malfunction or event has likely caused damage to the chimney. Chimney fires, weather events (lighting strikes) are indicators that this level of inspection should be completed.
What to expect during a level 2 inspection: The level 2 includes everything in the level 1 with the addition of using a video scan during the inspection to check the interior surfaces and joints/connections of the flue liner within the chimney plus accessible areas. In addition to the video scan the technician may access attics, crawl spaces and basements. This will address proper clearances from combustibles.
What is accessible? Defined by the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Accessible 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.
No removal or demo of permanently attached portions of the chimney or structure shall be required in a level 2 inspection.
A level 3 inspection is recommended when a level 1 or 2 inspection suggests a hidden defect/hazard is present and cannot be evaluated without special tools to access the concealed area of the chimney or flue. A level 3 includes everything checked with the Level 1 and 2 inspection as well as removal of certain components of the building or chimney where needed. Removal of components are only required if needed to gain access to areas that are needing inspection.
No matter what inspection you need Embers Fireplace and Chimney can assist you and answer any of your questions. Call us today! 513-832-2388