Levels of Inspection

With anything there are different levels of inspection or repairs depending on a need and the severity of a situation or condition of an object. It is no different with your home or fireplace. The Chimney Safety Institute of America describes three main levels of inspection to consider when having your fireplace inspected and checked by a professional. Inspection level one is your basic inspection. This level includes a thorough examination of the accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. A professional will be inspecting the soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. During the inspection a professional will be able to make sure your chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits like creosote. Level two is more intense than level one. A level two inspection includes everything involved with a level one inspection plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will allow a professional to properly clear all combustibles in any accessible locations. There is no demolition of your home or fireplace during a level two inspection. It is also important to note that a level two inspection is what you will need before you buy or sell a home. Level three includes inspections similar to level one and level two. However, if a hazard is suspected the removal of some doors, panels, or coverings may need to be removed so that the professional can gain better access to the potentially hazardous areas. Level three is a worse-case-scenario and will not be required for every inspection. A professional will be able to better assess your fireplace and determine what level of inspection you will need and will be able to explain what you can inspect with your inspection.