It’s that time of year again! Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and pumpkin decor is coming out in full swing. And with all this comes something else, too – more fireplace use.
Because of this, ensuring your fireplace system is in good shape and safe for use is imperative. That’s what chimney sweeps all over the nation, along with countless reputable organizations, urge homeowners to invest in their annual inspection now. Soon enough our books will fill up and finding a time slot will be much more difficult, so the sooner you reach out the better.
Why Annual Inspections?
For one thing, it allows them to spot any potential areas of damage. If your masonry is cracked and crumbling or you have chimney components missing or broken down – like your chimney cap or damper – it is vital that these issues be addressed before lighting up that first fire or you could face some serious risks.
What’s especially problematic about chimney damage is that once it starts occurring it only gets worse over time. Things like water and ice will continue wearing down your masonry, and if rot, rust, and decay has started to occur, these things will continue to spread. That’s why investing in repairs, along with any necessary preventative maintenance, as soon as possible is a must!
Another thing your sweep can watch out for is buildup or clogs. Things like leaves, twigs, and animals’ nesting materials can block up your flue quickly, which will greatly affect your draft and airflow. And if you have a wood-burning system, you’ll need to ensure creosote is regularly cleared out, or you’ll face increased risks when using your system.
All in all, if you want your fireplace to run as safely and as efficiently as possible, investing in annual inspections is a must. You’ll save yourself time, money, and stress in the long run, and you’ll also avoid some potentially dangerous scenarios, as well.
The Dangers of Chimney Neglect
- Chimney Fires: Creosote is a leading cause of chimney fires, so ensuring it doesn’t accumulate is imperative to keeping your home and family safer. Chimney fires are extremely damaging to your chimney, and their slow-moving and quiet nature makes them hard to notice. Oftentimes, homeowners won’t even know one has occurred, and they’ll continue using their damaged system, unaware of the risks they face by doing so.
- Smoke Back-Up: If your flue is clogged up, you’re a lot more likely to experience smoke backing up into your home. This isn’t only unpleasant and inconvenient… it’s dangerous! Inhaling smoke isn’t good for anyone’s health, and it can be especially harmful to those with pre-existing respiratory problems. Smoke could also work it’s way through cracks in your masonry if you’ve experienced damage from a chimney fire.
- Carbon Monoxide Exposure: Like with smoke, carbon monoxide can easily work it’s way into your home if your system is clogged up or facing damage. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and can prove deadly if too much exposure occurs. Unfortunately, because it’s so hard to detect, many don’t realize they’re at risk until it’s too late. If you don’t have carbon monoxide (and smoke) detectors installed throughout your home, the time to do it is now!
- House Fires: If your masonry or chimney liner is facing damage, flames and heat from your fireplace will be a lot more likely to reach adjacent woodwork and spread to other parts of your home. When lighting fires in your home, it’s vital to ensure your system is set up right to handle it, which is why those annual inspections are so encouraged throughout the industry.
We Offer Level 1, 2 & 3 Chimney Inspections
So, what can you expect when you hire us for an inspection? As Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified sweeps, we offer three levels of inspections, and what you need will depend on your unique situation.
1. Level 1 Inspections: Level 1 inspections are your most basic. We’ll examine any areas that are exposed and easily accessible (meaning they don’t require special tools to access them), and we’ll check for any obvious damages or buildup, too. If you get inspections every year and haven’t experienced any major damages or renovations in the last year, this should be all you need!
2. Level 2 Inspections: Level 2 inspections are more comprehensive. They’ll include all steps of a level 1 inspection, and the sweep may use appropriate tools to open coverings, panels, and doors to get a more in-depth analysis of the system, as well. But what really sets a level 2 inspection apart is the use of video equipment to get a look at every nook and cranny of the flue.
Level 2 inspections are required after natural disasters (like a floor, tornado, hurricane, etc.), during the transfer of property, after chimney fires, and after making any major changes to the fireplace, like switching up fuel types.
3. Level 3 Inspections: Level 3 inspections aren’t as common and are done more as a last ditch effort when neither a level 1 or level 2 inspection revealed the cause of your chimney issues. Sometimes the issues at hand are too hidden or concealed to easily uncover, and parts of the structure (like the chimney wall) will need to be removed to get to the bottom of it all. This would qualify as a level 3 inspection.
Ready to Schedule? Reach Out Today!
If you’re ready to get your inspection booked, reach out now! As we move into fall, our books will continue filling up fast, so now’s the time to call.
Make this burning season your best one yet by working with us. We’d love to help you out soon!