Prepare for Winter

Summer is almost over which means that it won’t be long until you want to fire up the fireplace again. However, before you use your fireplace, you should ask yourself if have you had your fireplace and chimney inspected within the last year. There are a lot of issues that issue that could have arrived over the last year, especially if you used your chimney a lot last fall and winter.

Creosote buildup, masonry cracking or chimney obstructions (e.g. leaves or animal nests) are all problems that can escalate quickly and cause damage to your property or become a fire hazard. Annual chimney inspections are recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Prevention Agency (NFPA). According to the CSIA, a majority of chimney fires could have been avoided if annual chimney inspections would have taken place.

There are three levels of chimney inspection that may take place depending on any changes that have occurred to your chimney in the last year.

Level 1

Level 1 inspections are the most basic and common type of inspection. This is the type of inspection that will take place if there have been no major changes to your chimney system and there has been normal usage over the last year. You chimney will be checked for blockages or creosote build up and the structural integrity of your entire chimney will also be checked.

Level 2

Level 2 inspections are more thorough and take place if there have been any structural changes to your chimney system. Changes can include, but are not limited to changes in fuel system, relining, or replacement of appliance components. This type of inspection also needs to take place after a transfer of property or after an event that there is a chance that damage may have been done to your chimney (e.g. earthquake, fire, or tornado). This type of inspection will also include a video scan to assure a thorough inspection.

Level 3

Level 3 inspections are similar to level 2 inspections, but they also allow a chimney technician to remove chimney components and use demolition tools to perform an inspection. This level of inspection usually takes place if there is a suspected hazard.

Chimney safety is of utmost importance for you and your family, so remember that only CSIA certified chimney sweeps, like the ones at Northeastern Masonry and Chimney, have been trained and tested in chimney maintenance, safety and ethics that make them qualified to inspect your fireplace and chimney. Fall and winter are a busy time of year for a chimney sweep, so contact Northeastern Masonry & Chimney for an annual inspection today to assure that your chimney will be rid of any potential issues and ready to go for the winter.