A fireplace inspection is really a chimney inspection.If your appliance or venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system, a Level 1 inspection is the minimum requirement. This inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service, under the same conditions, and with the continued use of the same appliance. In other words, you haven’t changed anything throughout the system. no swapping for an insert or restyling of the chimney and flue. Its the same as it has been.
In a Level 1 inspection, your chimney technician will examine the easily access parts of the chimney. This includes the interior and accessible parts of the fireplace and chimney. Part of the fireplace inspection will be to check the connection from the appliance (fireplace,stove, insert ect,,) to the chimney. We will be looking for the basic quality of the chimney, flue and fireplace and their connections. Part of the visual inspection is to verify their are no obstructions and it is free of combustible deposits of creosote.
A Level 2 inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection. In addition, accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements will be inspected. It will address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations.
A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. This includes a change in the fuel (gas, wood, pellets ect..) or the shape of, or material in, the flue (i.e. relining). This also includes the replacement or addition of an appliance that is different from the original in rating or efficiency. In addition, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation 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.
There are no specialty tools required to open doors, panels or coverings in performing a Level 2 inspection. A Level 2 inspection shall 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. There will be no removal or destruction of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure by a Level 2 inspection.
If a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection suggests a hidden hazard of your system we may need special tools a level 3 inspection will be recommended. This basically means we need to remove materials to check the full health or damage to your fireple, flue and chimney.
A Level 3 inspection includes all the areas and items checked in a Level 1 and a Level 2 inspection, as well as the removal of certain components of the building/home or chimney where necessary. Removal of components (i.e., chimney crown, interior chimney wall) shall be required only when necessary to gain access to areas that are the subject of the inspection. When serious hazards are suspected, a Level 3 inspection will likely be required to determine the condition of the chimney system.
A Level 3 inspection addresses the proper construction and the 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.