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A standard home inspection is only going to check readily accessible and visible portions of the fireplace and chimney, and only report evidence of damage, deterioration, or other issues with the hearth that are readily visible. A home inspector is not required to inspect the interior flue, flue components, flue opening, vent connector pipe, or the interior chimney system.
While the fireplace and chimney portion of the home inspection is useful, more detailed and specialized inspections of these systems should be carried out as part of your annual home maintenance to ensure safe and comfortable living.
We are a CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Certified Chimney Sweep and carry out a comprehensive examination on national codes and standards as defined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). We also follow CSIA's Code of Ethics. We are fully qualified to carry out the three levels of chimney inspections set by the NFPA.
Level 1 inspections are considered standard, and involve looking at each easily accessible part of the chimney system and attached appliance. If everything is working like normal and you haven’t noticed any problems or made any changes, a Level 1 inspection should suffice.
Level 2 inspections are performed with the help of a camera, which allows us to get a better look at the entire length of the chimney flue. We’ll check the overall structure and all parts that can be accessed without any sort of demolition, and make sure that the appliance is properly connected. Level 2 inspections should be performed when you’ve noticed changes in system efficiency or operation, when the home is being sold, after a fire or severe weather event, and anytime you are changing fuels, appliances, or flue liners.
Level 3 inspections are not your typical inspections. These may involve the removal of parts of the chimney system and home and are typically only performed when an issue cannot be identified or resolved with a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection.
The Humble Home Inspector provides chimney sweep/inspection in Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, Ozaukee County, Washington County, Sheboygan County, Fond du Lac County, Racine County, Kenosha County, Jefferson County, and Walworth County. Not sure if that's you? Give us a call at (414) 412-2637 or send us an email.