Schedule Your Level I or Level II Chimney Inspection With Garden State Chimney
The boxes are packed. The moving van is on its way and you slowly walk through the house, keeping an eye out for anything you missed, running through the mental checklist of to dos required in the moving process. There is a lot to keep track of when gearing up for a big move, it can be hard to remember it all. Take the inspections, for instance.
Yet, while a home inspection is a necessary task to schedule before buying or selling a property, it doesn’t actually cover everything when it comes to the fireplace and chimney system. That’s where we come in with a level 2 chimney inspection.
Time to book that annual chimney cleaning? Let’s get you scheduled! Noticing system inefficiencies and need to schedule a fireplace or chimney repair service? We can take care of that right away. Fill out our contact form online, or give us a call at 973-519-0802 to learn more about us and how we can help you. (And before you ask, yes – we also love Mary Poppins and will sing and dance to “Chim Chim Cheree.” …but only if you ask nicely.)
Gearing Up for a Move? Book Your Level II Chimney Inspection Today
Ok so this inspection thing. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Is a level 2 chimney inspection only required when a property title is transferred? Or are there other reasons one might need to book such a service?” This confusion and slight hesitation is to be expected – the general public knows surprisingly little about the rules, regulations, and requirements of the home heating and other ventilation systems industry. That’s why we’re here: to clear up questions and ensure that all homeowners understand the ins and outs of level 1 and level 2 chimney inspections.
A level 2 chimney inspection is in order if one (or both) of the following circumstances are true:
- You are buying or selling a home
- You’ve changed something about your current system (i.e. fuel type, repaired sustained damages, renovated or remodeled part of the appliance, etc.)
Why Do I Need A Level II Chimney Inspection When Buying or Selling a Home?
Once again, great question. Especially for those new to the home buying/selling process, scheduling a level 2 chimney inspection (in addition to the regular home inspection) may seem counterintuitive or unnecessary. After all, why pay twice for a service practically already completed in the first go around, right?
On the contrary – while the home inspection may be a broad overview of the structural soundness and safety of the house itself, with partial attention paid to certain appliances like the fireplace, it is not altogether holistic.
Throughout our site, you’ve been reading about the importance of maintaining professional-level care when it comes to your fireplace and chimney system, so why should anything change when preparing for a move? A home inspector has a very important role to play in ensuring any property is move-in ready, but don’t mistake their inspection as a replacement for a level 2 fireplace and chimney inspection performed by a professional chimney sweep. For as knowledgeable as they are when it comes to home readiness and the broad scope of safety, they are not chimney-trained professionals and very likely might overlook certain inefficiencies or damages present in the fireplace system.
That being said, as a homeowner, what can you expect from a home inspection – with specific regard to your fireplace? According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the “fireplace” part of the inspection will include the following:
- Check the easily accessible (and visible) components of fireplace and chimney
- Ensure that the system damper is operational
- Ensure that cleanout door/frame is operational
- Provide a description of the type of fireplace
- Provide ny notes of clear, visible deterioration or damage present in or around the hearth
Alternatively, home inspectors are not required to inspect, investigate, or make note of the following:
- Any part of the flue or ventilation system
- Any of the fireplace and chimney interior, including fire doors and screens, mantels, and gaskets or seals
- The need for a chimney sweep to perform a chimney cleaning service
- Operational readiness of fireplace inserts, pilot lights, or check on “fuel-fed” devices
- Disassemble any door, panel, covering or other part of the system that must be removed
- Ensure that system is set up to perform in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
So, basically, a home inspection requires the inspector to verify that there are no obvious signs of system degradation, damage, or anything else out of the ordinary that might hinder the moving in (or out) process. Considering that home inspectors do not actually inspect the chimney system, any fireplace or chimney issues that are missed during this overview home inspection will fall under the responsibility of the homeowner. That’s why it’s vitally important to schedule the two separate inspection services – it’ll save you both time and money in the long run.
We’ve gone over the fireplace-specific checklist required for a home inspection, but just how different is that inspection from a level 2 chimney inspection?
What’s Included in a Level II Inspection?
Like we’ve already touched on, a level 2 chimney inspection is quite a bit more involved than both a simple home inspection required on the real estate side of property management and a level 1 chimney inspection. The basics of a level 2 chimney inspection involves the following:
- A thorough investigation of all parts and components that are readily accessible (this allows for chimney sweeps to remove any doors, panels, or other coverings)
- The use of a camera to get a better and more comprehensive look at the inside of the flue
- A professionally trained and experienced chimney sweep verifying all necessary parts are present and fully functioning for suitable operation
- A report/debrief from your chimney sweep on everything they found, as well as proposed chimney repair services, should the inspection results illustrate damage and deterioration that inhibit system performance
Simply put, whether you are selling or buying, no property transfer can be complete without both a home inspection and a level 2 chimney inspection. Failing to have the latter completed is not only neglectful, but could also be incredibly dangerous.
What Is Included in a Chimney Inspection Checklist?
While there is not necessarily a comprehensive checklist so to speak, there is a general format to a chimney inspection – at least in terms of what areas are always checked and inspected for inefficiencies. Keep in mind that every chimney company – and every technician – will likely perform a level 2 inspection a little differently, but will still investigate your system and all its components – both inside your home and the part of the structure on top of your roof.
What parts of my chimney are checked during an inspection?
Every fireplace/chimney is a little different, just like the home it sits in. However, regardless of the fuel-type, model, and other specifications of your appliance, they all function in generally the same way. This list is not fully comprehensive when it comes to all of the operational components of your chimney, but it gives you a better idea of the kinds of things we’re looking for when we conduct an inspection:
- Ensure the materials in the firebox are in good condition. There should be no presence of cracking or spalling in the materials in or surrounding the firebox.
- Check that the damper works properly. This is vital in making sure that unwanted debris and animals don’t find their way into your flue when the system is not in use.
- Inspect chimney flue and liner for any signs of degradation. Things like soot buildup, cracked liner tiles (in terra cotta lined chimneys), or any odd gaping or holes in a metal liner will significantly impact the system’s performance.
- Look for signs of animal entry. Being the size we are, it’s hard to imagine animals crawling into and making a home within our chimneys, but this is a common occurrence.
- The overall state of the bricks and mortar or wood-paneling. Chimneys may be known for being particularly strong and sturdy – especially those constructed of brick – but that’s only as long as they are properly maintained. Over time, mortar crumbles and the wood rots which can compromise the integrity of the system as a whole.
- Verify that the chimney cap is intact and properly installed. Funny, isn’t it, that such a small piece can play such an important role in preserving the entire chimney? We check to make sure it is still sealed and performing its job correctly.
- Inspect the flashing for cracks or leaks. No matter if it’s due to improper installation or something else entirely, the flashing is a vital component in protecting the chimney system (and the rest of the home) against leaks and water damage.
Why Should I Trust a Professional To Perform My Chimney Inspection?
You mean besides the free dance number we tack on? That makes it worth it right there, if you ask us.
All jokes aside, why should you contact a professional when it comes to scheduling a chimney inspection? Here’s a handful of reasons you should entrust all your inspection (and any other chimney or fireplace-related concerns) needs to us:
- …because we know what we’re doing – and have the years of industry experience to back it up.
- …because we value your time and money and, as such, will always be transparent in regard to our prices and process.
- …because we are a licensed and insured chimney service company and only hire chimney technicians who have been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
Contact Us Today
Contact us right here through our website or better yet, give us a call at 973-519-0802. See for yourself why we’re the premier chimney service provider throughout Northern New Jersey. We look forward to working with you.