Levels of Chimney Inspection

Until recently, the scope of work performed in the inspection or evaluation of a fireplace, stove or other venting system was generally up to the discretion of the chimney service technician. Professional service technicians now have an industry standard that removes much of that “discretion.” The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has addressed the minimum chimney standards in its latest publication (NFPA-211) concerning home heating appliances. Inspections are now classified as Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3.

Below is an explanation of the three levels of inspection as provided by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fire Protection Association.

Level 1 Inspections – $69.00

If your appliance or your venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system as you have in the past, then a Level 1 inspection is a minimum requirement. A Level 1 inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service under the same conditions and with the continued use of the same appliance.

In a Level 1 inspection, your chimney service technician should examine the readily-accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. Your technician will be looking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and deposits.

Level 2 Inspections – $199.00 – [For informational purposes only – we do not perform this level]

A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include fuel type, the shape of or material in the flue (i.e., if the chimney has been relined), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection may be required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operating malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth inspection then a Level 1 inspection.

Level 2 inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection, plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations. There are no specialty tools (e.g., demolition equipment) required to open doors, panels or coverings in performing a Level 2 inspection. A Level 2 inspection may also include a visual inspection by video scanning or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners incorporated within the chimney. No removal or destruction of permanently-attached portions of the chimney or building structure or finish shall be required by a Level 2 inspection.

Level 3 Inspections – $250.00 and up – [For informational purposes only – we do not perform this level]

When a Level 1 or a Level 2 inspection suggests a hidden hazard, and the evaluation cannot be performed without special tools to access concealed areas of the chimney or flue, a Level 3 inspection is recommended. A Level 3 inspection addresses the proper construction and condition of concealed portions of the chimney structure and the flue. Removal or destruction, as necessary, of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure will be required for the completion of a Level 3 inspection.

A Level 3 inspection includes all the areas and items checked in Level 1 and Level 2 inspections, as well as the removal of certain components of the building or chimney where necessary. Removal of components, such as the chimney crown or the interior chimney wall, may be required only when necessary to gain access to areas that are the subject of the inspection. Video scanning will also be used to ascertain the chimney condition. When serious hazards are suspected, a Level 3 inspection may well be required to determine the condition of the chimney system.

  • Passing the Hat

    From


    Karen and Carl Newton

    To


    Sarah and Will Gilfillan

    Owning and operating Chimney Keepers for 27 years has been a very rewarding experience, and we have enjoyed the relationships we have built with our customers. We are now starting a new chapter and are selling the business to one of our Technicians. Though we will miss the many relationships and friendships we have built over the years, Karen and I are looking forward to traveling full time in our Airstream as we explore the nooks and crannies of North America.

    We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Will and Sarah Gilfillan, who will be taking over Chimney Keepers as of March 30, 2020. Rest assured, Will has been well trained (by Carl!) and is very competent, with nearly four years of experience in the gas log/fireplace/ chimney service industry and over ten years as a firefighter. Sarah, the Office Manager/wife is a fast learner, and will do wonders in assisting you with scheduling appointments and answering questions. It was important to us to find a good fit for our customers, and we feel confident that you will find Will and Sarah to be knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.

    Thank you for your business over the years. It was my distinct pleasure to have been of service to you, and I wish you continued success and prosperity in the years to come.

    Sincerely, Karen and Carl Newton

  • Is Your Wood-burning or Gas-burning Fireplaces ready for Winter?

    Is your Fireplace or Gas Log unit ready to go? If not, or for a service, give us a call.

    During a power outage, a fireplace or gas log unit may be your only form of heat, so make sure they are working in top form. Give us a call to set up an appointment, 919-772-8110.

    PS: If you do NOT have a Carbon Monoxide detector and you have gas logs, GET ONE… NOW… We recommend the combination CO/Smoke, battery-powered, detectors found at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or most hardware stores.

    If yours are over 10 years old, replace them (there’s a date on back). If there is not a date of manufacture on the back, GET rid of it.

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    • Own Timeshare and exchange with RCI? You need to read this info. IT'S IMPORTANT TO LEARN MORE. Tug2.net