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Blaine Residents Ask: What is the Difference Between the Different Levels of Chimney Inspections?

When needing a chimney inspection, many Blaine homeowners balk upon seeing the different levels involved.

How do I know which one to get? Which one s right for me? What is the difference?

To help answer those questions, let’s briefly describe the the levels of chimney inspection defined by the National Fire Protection Association.

Level 1

Also known as a visual chimney inspection, this is the most basic level. This inspection includes looking at all parts of the chimney that are readily accessible, both on the interior and exterior. The visual inspection is generally just done by eye, with no video equipment involved.

The idea is to inspect the overall soundness of the chimney and fireplace or stove installation. You would opt for this inspection if your system has been serviced frequently and you haven’t made any changes to the ventilation system or how you use your fireplace.

Level 2

As you would expect, this inspection is more involved. For this, an inspector will look not just at the readily accessible interior and exterior portions of the chimney, but also less accessible segments. This may include having access to an attic, basement or crawl space. This inspection is usually recorded on video.

You would need this type of inspection if you had made any change to your system, such as getting a new fireplace or changing the ventilation. A Level 2 inspection is also highly recommended when selling your home.

Level 3

The Level 3 inspection is the most thorough and involved. In addition to checking all the same areas in the first two levels, this inspection essentially means inspecting the entire chimney inside and out to determining if you need any chimney repairs.

This type of inspection is really only necessary in cases where the chimney has been or may have been damaged, such as in a house fire, chimney fire or natural disaster. So, with any luck, you will not have to have a Level 3 inspection ever performed on your chimney.

Please keep in mind that these are only general guidelines. The actual definitions of the inspections are much more complicated. If you have any doubt as to which inspection level is appropriate for your situation, call 2nd Generation Chimneys to make sure.

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