Chimney is truly a blessing in the chilly winter nights where you can relax and get warm in front of your fireplace with a cup of coffee in your hand. This wouldn’t be possible if you don’t maintain your chimney by carrying out regular chimney inspection.
Why Do You Need Regular Chimney Inspections?
Have you ever given a thought to the fact that what processes and materials are involved in the making of a chimney and that the chimney does far more work than providing warmth? Its structure and make protects you from the dangerous gas, carbon monoxide, which is odorless and invisible but can cause irritations, eye infection, skin infections and lung infections.
The interior of the chimney and its masonry is made up of metal liners, then there is a damper and a chimney cap. These also go through wear and tear with time and masonry and mortar may crumble and fall out. The metal may get rusted and corroded. The flue liner may deteriorate and the structure may get weak. All this leads to the chimney losing its work efficiency which may cause the dangerous gases to enter your homes, and more and more soot may get accumulated on the interior wall of the chimney and can also lead to chimney fires.
But how can this all be protected? The answer is simple, you need to get your chimney inspected from time to time. There are 3 levels of chimney inspections.
Level 1 Inspection
This is the most basic type of inspection for chimney care but one which is extremely important and should be performed every year. The chimney is inspected as well as cleaning is done. The chimney sweep or technician will come and check the chimney whether it has any blockages, any leaks, any obstruction, damage or wear and tear. He will inspect it thoroughly from the exterior and the interior. He will also sweep the fireplace and clear off the wood remnants and the soot and creosote which is stuck on the interior of the chimney.
Creosote is a dangerous and combustible by-product of burning wood and deposits itself in the inside walls of the chimney as it begins to cool down. The buildup increases with time and if it is cleaned annually then it may cause inefficient working of the chimney which is dangerous for health as well as house fires in extreme cases.
Level 2 Inspection
Level 2 chimney inspection is usually performed if the technician notices signs of wear and tear or damage or notices leaks or some kind of corrosion or the deterioration of the interior masonry which can be dangerous if left for more time.
In this type of inspection, the chimney technician comes equipped with a small camera which is then put in the chimney to check where exactly the leak is and how much corrosion or damage is done and where the repairs are needed. The technician may crawl into the smaller space such as the attic or someplace where the parts of the chimney can be closely inspected. A video of the interior side of the chimney is also made so the problem area and the extent of the problem can be detected.
It is preferable to get a level 2 inspection done after a severe storm or any other natural disaster such as earthquake or hurricane or after a chimney fire to check for any damage and corrosion. Also, if you are buying or selling a house then level 2 inspection should be performed.
Level 3 Inspection
This is only recommended when the situation is severe and the inspection really is needed. It is performed when the damage and its cause cannot be assessed during level 2 inspection. This is the most expensive type of inspection because in it the parts of the chimney are extracted to check what and how much damage is done and it should be repaired because not repairing may cause the chimney to fall apart or cause dangerous fires.
Getting an annual chimney inspection by a chimney contractor Columbia MD is important and also a level in 2 every 2 to 3 years. This will save your chimney from extreme damage and also save you from expenses.