Annual Chimney Inspections
Chimney inspections are vital for a chimney to function correctly. In European folklore, storks nesting in chimneys are considered a symbol of good luck. However, it’s important to note that nests or blockages in chimneys can lead to severe issues like smoking problems, chimney fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s essential to avoid such risks, conduct annual chimney inspections and stay informed about these potential dangers.
In 2005, there were 24,500 residential fires in the United States originating in chimneys, fireplaces, and solid fuel appliances, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. These fires resulted in 20 deaths and $126.1 million in property damage.
Virtually all of these fires were preventable according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a non-profit institution dedicated to public and chimney professional education. The Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fire Protection Association recommend yearly chimney inspections to help prevent these hazards.
Many American homeowners think their chimneys only need to be cleaned and inspected if they burn wood in their fireplaces or wood stoves. But almost all heating appliances, whether they burn gas, oil, wood, or coal, rely on the chimney to safely carry toxic gases produced by the heating system of the house.
Facts About Chimney Inspections
A carbon monoxide detector can warn homeowners of potential poisoning after the deadly gas has already entered the living area, but an annual chimney check can help prevent carbon monoxide from entering the home in the first place.
Each fall, homeowners shift into home-improvement mode. They clean gutters, garages, and basements — preparing homes for winter. But they usually don’t inspect, repair or clean their chimneys, despite the potential for damage to their property or even to their lives.
Why You Should Hire A Certified Chimney Sweep
An annual chimney inspection by a Certified Chimney Sweep is a modest investment that can reduce the danger of chimney fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Certified Chimney Sweeps have earned the industry’s most respected credential by passing an intensive examination based on fire codes, clearances, and standards for the construction and maintenance of chimneys and venting systems.
In fact, when chimney fires occur, many insurance investigators rely on Certified Chimney Sweeps to determine whether a fire originated in – or damaged – the chimney system. The Chimney Safety Institute of America, established in 1983, is a non-profit, educational institution, dedicated to educating the public about the prevention of chimney safety hazards.
Levels Of Chimney Inspections
The scope of work performed in the inspection or evaluation of a fireplace, stove or other venting system had previously been left to the discretion of the chimney service technician. On January 13, 2000, the National Fire Protection Association adopted these levels of inspection into code NFPA 211 (Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances) that remove much of that “discretion”. Inspections are now clearly defined as Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 .
NFPA 211 is the standard upon which certified chimney sweeps base their services and Certified Chimney Sweeps are tested to these three levels of inspection. Always ask for the level of inspection that you believe will be most appropriate for your chimney and venting system. Each level of inspection covers specific items depending on the individual appliance and venting system.
Below is an explanation of the three levels of inspections and what services your chimney service technician should provide for each level as defined by the NFPA 211:
Chimney Inspections Word Definitions
* Accessible: May require the use of commonly available tools to remove doors, panels or coverings, but will not damage the chimney or building structure or finish.
** Readily Accessible: Exposed, or capable of being exposed, for operation, inspection, maintenance or repair without the use of tools to open or remove doors, panels or coverings.
Chimney Inspection Rates
- Chimney Related Service Call: $150 + tax
- Chimney or Masonry Repair Estimates: $150 + tax
- Basic Chimney Inspection Report: $200 + tax
- NFPA 211 Level 1 Chimney Inspection: $250 + tax – (For previous customers already annually serviced)
- Real Estate Chimney Inspection Report: $450 + tax – (It’s required when buying or selling a home)
- NFPA 211 Level 2 Chimney Inspection: $450 + tax – (It’s required when buying or selling a home)
- NFPA 211 Level 3 Chimney Inspection: Minimum Charge $500 + ta
We also offer senior discounts, multi-chimney discounts, and multi-property discounts on all work performed (please specify when booking an appointment)