Tag: residential chimney repair

Level 1 and 2 Chimney Inspections

If the chimney is caked in creosote, filled with debris and has hidden damage, the house buyer may be exposed to smoke and carbon monoxide. A certified chimney inspector can examine the fireplace, chimney and flue and recommend any needed repairs.

During a level 1 inspection, the chimney technician will look at all the readily accessible areas of the structure and flue. This includes going into crawl spaces and attics, as needed, to visually inspect hard-to-reach areas. Contact Chimney Inspection Baltimore now!

Level 1 Inspection

These are generally very lengthy inspections. One client said his lasted 40 minutes, which means the inspector was either a speed demon or just hungry for supper. This level of inspection usually includes examination of driver’s license, medical examiner certificate and skill performance evaluation (SPE) certificate; use of drugs and alcohol; hours of service; seat belt; cargo securement; coupling devices; frames; fuel systems; engine and battery compartments; lighting and signals; van and open-top trailer bodies; and tires.

Level 2 Inspection

A Level 2 inspection is usually required for homes that have had some type of change to the fireplace system. This may include adding a new fireplace insert, changing fuel sources, or having repairs made. This inspection allows chimney sweeps to fully evaluate the entire chimney and flue with the help of closed-circuit cameras. A level two inspection also gives homeowners a chance to find the source of long term performance issues like drafting problems or leaks.

Chimney sweeping and chimney inspection are often confused with one another, but they are completely different services. Chimney sweeping is the process of cleaning soot and ash from a chimney. A chimney inspection is the evaluation of the condition of a fireplace and chimney, and it typically requires special equipment that is not available to the average homeowner.

Choosing the right general inspection level is an important decision that affects your confidence in your inspection results and can increase or decrease your cost. General II is a good choice for many situations. You can even use it if you’re working with a new supplier that you haven’t vetted yet or if you have frequent quality issues with your current supplier.

The level of inspection you need is determined by the age of the vehicle, purpose of the inspection and your risk tolerance. This standard is designed as a baseline from which an inspector and client can develop and agree to a scope of work.

Level 4 Inspection

Chimney inspections play a critical role in keeping the fireplace and chimney systems in a home safe and functioning as intended. While some homeowners may be tempted to perform a chimney inspection themselves, it is generally recommended that homeowners opt for professional inspections. This allows for a more detailed and thorough evaluation of the fireplace and chimney, as well as an opportunity to identify potential hazards that would otherwise go undetected.

The most common chimney problems include leaks, cracks, and deterioration of the chimney structure and components. This damage, in turn, can compromise the safety of the fireplace and chimney system, posing a fire hazard to homes and occupants. In addition, a chimney that is not properly maintained can become clogged with creosote and combustible debris, leading to decreased efficiency of the fireplace and chimney system.

As a chimney sweep, it’s your job to spot these issues and to take corrective action to maintain your client’s fireplace and chimney systems. Using a chimney inspection checklist is the best way to ensure that all parts of the system are evaluated and are in good working condition.

In addition to assessing the readily accessible portions of the fireplace and chimney system, sweeps will also look for cracks or other signs of deterioration in the masonry and mortar joints. These cracks can allow water to seep into the chimney and cause further damage to the masonry or even lead to structural failure.

Another area of concern is the flue itself, which must be free of flammable deposits to avoid a chimney fire. A sweeping will thoroughly scrub the flue and chimney walls to remove creosote, tar, and other combustible deposits. In addition, they will check the damper for proper operation and make sure that there are sufficient clearances of combustible materials in front of the chimney.

Finally, sweeps will examine the fireplace and chimney connections to make sure that they are of the appropriate size for hearth appliances and are securely attached to the chimney system. Any improperly installed hearth appliances can put the chimney, fireplace, and occupants at risk. In addition, if the chimney is damaged or deteriorated, it will require repairs which can be costly.

Chimney Liners

The chimney liner is one of the most essential parts of any fireplace system and a key factor in protecting your home. A chimney liner allows the heat, smoke and corrosive byproducts of burning wood to escape safely into the environment without transferring this intense heat and toxins through the walls of your home or igniting adjacent combustible materials.

A chimney liner also protects the masonry of your chimney from corrosive byproducts like creosote that attack and degrade mortar causing significant deterioration. This deterioration reduces the structural stability and usable life of your chimney. It can also lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your living spaces and can make your fireplace unsafe to use.

Chimney liners are available in several different materials including clay tiles, metal and cast-in-place cement. Clay tiles are the most common and can be easily repaired or replaced. Metal liners are typically made from stainless steel and offer superior durability and longevity. Chimney liners are made to fit your chimney flue and can be custom shaped to meet your fireplace design.

When a chimney flue is lined, it can be used for either wood or gas burning fires. Wood burning chimneys produce a high level of toxic byproducts including carbon monoxide and smoke. These byproducts can deteriorate the masonry and mortar of your chimney, leading to expensive repair and replacement.

Keeping your chimney liner in good condition helps prevent moisture from entering the chimney system. This moisture can cause a variety of problems ranging from brick deterioration to mold and mildew growth. A chimney liner prevents water from entering the chimney and keeps it free of debris.

A damaged or unlined chimney presents many hazards to your family and guests. A damaged chimney flue with gaps, cracks or spalling is a major fire hazard that can burn down your house. Every year hundreds of homes are destroyed by fires that start in unlined or damaged chimney flues.

Chimney Saver Solutions recommends having your chimney and chimney inspected annually to ensure that your chimney is functioning correctly. This annual inspection will identify any potential problems and allow them to be addressed promptly.

Chimney Caps

Chimney caps are a vital part of any chimney system, preventing water, animals and debris from entering the flue. These metal covers come in a variety of sizes and styles to meet the specific needs of each chimney. They’re available in galvanized metal, stainless steel and copper.

The type of chimney cap you choose will depend on your budget and fireplace situation. Galvanized metal chimney caps are the cheapest option, but they’re not durable and can easily rust. Stainless steel chimney caps are more expensive, but they’re highly durable and corrosion-resistant. Copper chimney caps are the most aesthetically pleasing, but they’re also the most expensive.

A chimney without a cap is open to the elements, which can cause damage to the flue, walls and roof. Chimney caps prevent rain, snow, sleet and debris from entering the flue and damaging the chimney structure. They’re also the best way to keep out birds, squirrels, raccoons and other animals that can nest in your chimney and cause chimney blockages.

When you need to install a new chimney cap, it’s important that you hire a professional to measure the flue and get the right measurements for the chimney cap. This ensures that the cap will fit properly and stay in place during a strong storm.

Chimney caps have a ring of wire mesh that keeps critters and debris out of the chimney, while allowing smoke and embers to escape. The mesh openings should be about 3/4 of an inch across. Openings any larger can cause embers to fall into the home and a fire to start inside the chimney. Chimney caps with mesh that’s too small can also create ice, which can block off the flue and prevent airflow during a fire.

If you’re installing a chimney cap yourself, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It’s also important to make sure you have the proper ladder for climbing on your roof and that you’re comfortable working at such a high height. If you aren’t comfortable climbing on your roof or if the job requires specialized tools, it’s best to call a professional.