A professional chimney inspection is in your best interest. It’s like hiring a structural engineer to inspect your house’s foundation or having a licensed electrician inspect your wiring if things keep shorting out.
Annual Chimney Inspection
Our typical annual chimney inspection is known as a Level 1 inspection as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
What does it consist of? It’s essentially a detailed visual inspection conducted by professionals who know how to discern a potential or existing problem.
Specifically, at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney, during the yearly chimney inspection we:
- check all accessible interior and exterior portions, including the venting system, the appliance, and connections,
- evaluate whether the flue is cracked or blocked,
- look for any build-up affecting air flow to minimize risks of fire or noxious fumes.
Again, we want to emphasize the importance of using trained eyes.
Your chimney masonry may be deteriorating in ways only a professional can see. For example, mortar erosion and breakdown from moisture intrusion is often subtle, especially in the early stages. The untrained eye may not detect these early problems. And even if you could discern a problem, you likely face safety challenges related to access.
We essentially look for symptoms and their causes. We want to examine your masonry for signs of damage from plant growth, such as vines, or damage from fire or moisture. Our professionals assess whether masonry deterioration is resulting from poor structural design or construction, inferior building materials, weather conditions, animals’ nesting, seismic disturbance, or lack of proper maintenance.
An inspection might reveal structural problems or exterior features that need repair. Some examples of not-so-obvious issues we might unearth include chimney crown damage, sealant or flashing fissures, crumbling masonry or spalling, or moisture intrusion.
Incidentally, there are additional levels of inspection that probe more deeply and thoroughly. For example, a Level 2 inspection is typically required upon the transfer or sale of a home. The next level looks for hidden hazards, using video scanning. The most advanced inspection uses special equipment and tools to find root causes of hidden problems. At this level of inspection, certain chimney components, such as a crown, may have to be removed. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) spells out the fine points of these three levels of inspection.
Rest assured that Northeastern Masonry & Chimney employs trained professionals who know chimney maintenance. Our CSIA-certified technicians have the skills and tools to inspect your chimney properly.
If you live in the Capital District, Central or Northern New York, the Hudson Valley or western Massachusetts, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney today at 518-767-9315. Or schedule an appointment online.