The Importance of Chimney Inspections

If you’re planning on selling your home or considering purchasing one, getting a chimney inspection is essential. There are two types of inspections: Level 1 and Level 2. Level 1 inspections are primarily designed to find obstructions, airflow problems, and leaks. They also remove the buildup of creosote. A Level 2 inspection is much more comprehensive and detailed, and it’s required for real estate transactions.

Crown Wash

The crown of a chimney is an integral part of the inspection process. The part of the chimney protects the house from water infiltration. The chimney’s crown is typically made of concrete or mortar and slopes downward to drain water away from the flue and onto the roof. If the crown is damaged, it can cause water to leak into the house. Luckily, there are several ways to solve the problem without calling a chimney sweep.

Crown wash involves removing and cleaning the crown of the chimney. Cracks in the crown of a chimney can lead to leakage into the firebox and ceiling. In some cases, crown sealants can be used to prevent further damage. But a complete rebuild is necessary if the crown is severely cracked or damaged.  Again, a professional chimney inspection Roanoke, VA, will determine which solution will work best.

Level 3 Inspection

While a level two inspection is sufficient if your chimney is in good condition, it’s recommended that you get a level three inspection if you’re considering selling your home or making major structural changes. In addition, a level 3 inspection is highly recommended following a severe weather event or a chimney fire. In these situations, you’ll want to hire a professional who can provide you with the proper advice regarding the safety of your home.

Video Scans

A video scan is a great way to inspect your chimney without hiring a professional cleaner. A video scan involves a chimney technician remotely feeding a camera or light attached to scope into your chimney. The technician can then move the camera around the inside of your chimney and watch the live feed on a small screen. This allows the technician to evaluate the condition of the chimney and make recommendations for repairs.

A video scan will reveal any structural or assembly defects that are not visible to the naked eye. For example, corrosion can cause pinholes in metal chimney liners, which seriously risk the system’s integrity. If the damage is significant, a new liner may be necessary to repair it. The new liner can then be covered with a vermiculite coating to prevent further deterioration.

Masonry Chimneys

Regardless of your fireplace type, it’s essential to have your chimney inspected at least once a year. A clean chimney will prevent soot buildup, which can affect venting and prevent your chimney from venting properly. Also, a clean chimney allows you to check for damage to the masonry and see if any repairs are necessary.

Masonry chimneys are especially vulnerable to moisture, leading to brick deterioration. If not repaired, these chimneys can collapse, causing serious safety hazards. Fire safety experts recommend an annual inspection to identify any problems and recommend repairs.

Flue Cap

Inspecting your chimney cap to ensure it is secure properly is important. If your chimney cap isn’t tight enough, it may slide out in high winds, damaging your property. This is particularly dangerous in tornado conditions. Professional chimney repair services can help you determine the proper type of cap for your chimney.

In addition to ensuring that your chimney is tight enough, a proper inspection should include checking for any water that may have been collected on the cap. Water entering the flue can lead to quicker deterioration and may ultimately require a new flue. Again, a professional chimney sweep can inspect and make recommendations for repairs. These may include installing flue caps or replacing top cement.