The idea of having a fireplace in your own home is something that everybody wants. When you think of such a thing, you are associating it with comfort, comfortable bed, family time, and a safe place. We feel this way because we have relied on fire since ancient times. It has brought us food, it brings us warmth and it brings us light. A fireplace might not be suitable for cooking food, but it can still bring a lot of warmth and light to your home.
So yeah, the idea of having your own fireplace is great. However, you have to understand that installing this kind of thing in your home comes with a lot of responsibilities. You must not take it for granted. The entire structure of the fireplace needs to be respected. The most important part of any fireplace is the chimney. This part of the structure is what delivers oxygen to the fire and removes the smoke and toxic fumes from the fuel you burn.
Unfortunately, the chimney is prone can easily get clogged with all kinds of stuff. Insects may breed here, birds will try to build a nest inside and the fumes from the fire can cause a buildup of junk. This is why it is essential to inspect on a regular basis to ensure that it is safe to use and to reduce the chances of any kind of danger.
But, before you start hiring professional companies to help you with this problem, you will first need to understand the three different levels of inspection. They are most commonly referred to as levels one, two, and three.
How do I know if it requires inspection?
Well, you do not exactly have to know when it is time to hire people for an inspection of your chimney. The smartest way to deal with this is to just have a regular schedule for this process. If you decide to hire a company that will take care of this every year or every couple of months, you won’t have to worry about it ever again.
However, assuming that you do not feel comfortable spending such an amount of money on a schedule, you’ll probably want to know when is the best time to do this. Well, there is no exact answer to this question because the amount of cleaning your chimney needs is completely dependent on how much you use your fireplace.
By using it just a couple of times through the winter season you will probably do well with just one inspection throughout the year. Although, for those that use it quite often and throughout the entire year, then it will need to be inspected at least a couple of times annually.
The most common inspection of chimneys is the first level or what professionals usually refer to as just level 1. Before we can explain what this type of inspection deals with, you should first understand that the need for one is not just when you have a problem. Even when everything works flawlessly without any hiccups, you should still consider getting someone to check it out. It never hurts to be careful. Like they say, better safe than sorry, right?
So, if you go decide to take the level one option, it is pretty simple. A technician will come that is equipped with just a couple of tools because they don’t really need anything else. With a flashlight, they will start to inspect it from the inside of your home and check whether there are any irregularities inside of the chimney.
Once the technician determines that the light can shine through the entire chimney, it means that it passes this rank of inspection. However, if the technician has trouble seeing the flue from the interior, they might ask you to check it out from the roof. Assuming that the technician has come prepared with a ladder, you should probably let him finish his job. However, if they haven’t come with the right tools, I would suggest that you take a rain check. You shouldn’t risk anyone climbing on your roof without the right equipment.
For those that have experienced some kind of fluctuations in the fireplace, some weird problems, more smoke building up indoors, and other things like that then they are definitely in need of a level two inspection. I should also note that a professional should be hired to analyze your chimney if you have decided to use some kind of other wood or fuel too. This kind of change may lead to some problems. Again, better safe than sorry.
As you probably already know, level two is a bit more detailed and includes everything that would be done in a level one analysis. So, how does this one unfold?
Well, once the technician arrives, the first step will be to start with some visual analysis. Again, they will use a strong flashlight and will shine through the chimney. To ensure that the sky and the flue are clearly visible. Once they are done with that, they will examine the roof, the attic, and any other places that are connected to the chimney.
Now, this is the most detailed one out of all three and is required by law when you decide to sell your home. All the potential buyers of the house must be aware of the chimney’s condition. The level three inspection includes everything else mentioned above in this article. The visual analysis, the examination of the roof, crawlspaces, and the attic. However, things can get a bit more complicated and serious. The technician might be forced to remove or demolish some parts of your house to get clear access to your chimney.
This will probably cost a lot more in may even require you to move out of your home for a couple of days.
Now that you have a clear understanding of the three levels of chimney inspection, I am certain that you will be able to make the best decision that will fit your situation.