A wood fire in your living room is a serious topic. As we previously mentioned, they are the prime reason for house fires. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) said 18,000 house fires are caused by wood burning annually. We know the importance of chimney inspection.
We pay close attention to the inside of the chimney to get a nice look at all the concealed damage. Apart from this, the other areas of the chimney in the attic get inspected. Most wood-burning masonry has issues inside them.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises having chimney inspections done when you move into a property and when there is a sale available for such services.
The levels of chimney inspection
There are two levels in a chimney inspection. The first inspection only deals with exteriors, while the second is more detailed.
The level 2 inspection recommended by NFPA is for chimneys, vents, fireplaces, and any appliances dealing with fire.
It isn’t a law, but it is wise to inspect. And as professional inspectors, we follow these recommendations while examining.
Issues a chimney can have
NFPA says that if a flue liner is deteriorating, has cracks, or gets soft, it is no longer suitable for use.
When your liner has a problem, it loses the ability to contain the by-products of combustion, and it should get replaced or repaired. There is no third option.
A faulty chimney can be harmful, and while we inspect it, they either pass or fail the test, and there is no average result. They are either good or not.
A chimney also becomes unsafe if there is missing mortar at the joints. That chimney won’t meet the standards of safety. Many chimneys usually fail the inspection because the consequences of the structural fire are serious.
Gaps in the chimney
Your chimney can have small gaps in them, and these small gaps matter. Don’t underestimate them for their size.
These trivial gaps allow enough heat to pass from the chimney to the bricks. Then the wooden structure gets heated from these bricks.
When this continues, ultimately, the ignition point of the bricks drops. And this gradually leads to a structural fire.
While inspecting, we found numerous cases where sheathings around the chimney were severely scorched. They got blistered to a point where they would have caught fire the next time the fireplace ignited.
The level 2 inspection
The level 2 inspection is necessary to confirm your fireplace is safe. But what if your chimney fails the level 2 examination? Does that mean you will have to change/repair the entire structure?
Not exactly. But you won’t be able to use the fireplace for fires. Some people don’t like this idea, and it is fine if you want a functional fireplace.
In such cases, the best option is to use a gas fireplace. A gas insert adds more heat to the home, and the wood-burning fireplace will reduce the heat. And if you plan on using your fireplace, the chimney needs to be re-lined.
When you buy a new home or have a wood fireplace, getting a level 2 inspection is safe.
Is the inspection worth it?
In an inspection, cracks and gaps that are perilous get inspected. We also check if areas show signs of water intrusion. And the condition of the chimney cap, damper, liner, and flashing is examined.
An accurate inspection not only includes the present issue a structure has. But a professional will also estimate how things will turn out after some time.
A simple visual investigation isn’t enough to point out all the issues your chimney has because the detrimental issues are generally inside the chimney, requiring a thorough examination.
This inspection is necessary, especially for people buying or selling a house. If you are selling a house buyers would appreciate a professional chimney inspection.
And if you are buying a house, it doesn’t matter whether the seller pays for the inspection or not. Considering the safety inspections provide, you should do it yourself. It is better safe than sorry.
If you want to inspect your chimney by professionals, call us ASAP!