What to Expect From a Chimney Inspection

house with chimney

It may be summertime now, but colder weather is never too far off. If you use a fireplace to keep your home warm in the winter, now is the time to have an inspection done. If you've never had your chimney inspected, it might ease your mind to know what to expect during the service. 

Checking for a Sound Structure

First, the chimney inspector will ensure your chimney and flue have a sound structure. He or she will examine the interior and exterior for signs of wear and tear that could cause problems in the future.

Removal of Obstructions

It's extremely common for birds, squirrels, or even raccoons to make their homes in your chimney, especially during the summer months. An inspector will ensure there are no animal nests, fallen leaves or twigs, or other debris that could block the release of smoke and gas via your chimney. Blocked toxins could cause a fire or respiratory issues for those living in the home.

Clearance of Combustibles

It is also important to ensure other combustibles are far from the interior and exterior of the chimney as well. This means no trees hanging over the chimney's roof exit and no combustible materials near the hearth indoors.

Volume of Deposits

Finally, your chimney inspection Washington DC will include a check for the volume of combustible deposits, such as creosote, in your chimney. Ensuring there is no buildup that can ignite while you use your fireplace and chimney.

Level 1 vs. Level 2

All of the above is included in a Level 1 chimney inspection, which is best for a fireplace you use regularly and clean often. However, if you haven't used your fireplace in a long time, or if your home has withstood an earthquake or another act of Mother Nature, it is important to consider a Level 2 inspection. These inspections also provide a video scan of the interior of the chimney as an added layer of protection.

Whether you need a Level 1 or a Level 2 inspection, always ensure you hire a licensed and insured contractor who is experienced at chimney inspections.