Chimney inspections are best performed by individuals who have years of experience because we know the inspection and evaluation of your chimney is important. While not all chimney inspections are the same, they are all vital. At Clean Sweep Chimney Sweep, we follow the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommended inspection procedures 100%% of the time. There are 3 levels in a NFPA inspection procedure. The circumstances and condition of your chimney will determine what level of inspection is to be conducted. A Level I inspection is the most basic level of inspection while Level II and Level III inspections are progressively more detailed and comprehensive. A Level I inspection is always completed during each chimney cleaning, or sweeping.
Level I Inspection
As stated before a Level I inspection is conducted and is the recommended level when an evaluation of the chimney system for continued service is needed and the conditions of use are not changing. This could include:
Routine or annual evaluations of the venting system
An appliance connected to the system is being replaced with a similar appliance
During chimney cleaning or sweeping
The Level I inspection is limited to readily accessible portions of the venting system, and accessible portions of the connected appliance(s) as well as the chimney connection. Our technicians will inspect the readily accessible portions of the chimney, its enclosing structure, and the flue. A Level I inspection includes verification that the flue is not blocked or significantly restricted.
Level II Inspection
You will get a more detailed inspection with a Level II inspection. The Level II inspection is the recommended inspection when conditions of use for the appliance or venting system are changing, or when a Level I inspection reveals the need for a more detailed inspection for safety or functionality issues. Several instances where a Level II inspection is specifically recommended include:
Replacement of an appliance with one of dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency
Prior to a flue relining
Upon sale or transfer of the property
After an event likely to have caused damage to the chimney, such as a chimney fire or other sudden occurrence event
With a Level II inspection the readily accessible portions of the venting system, and accessible portions of the connected appliance(s) and the chimney connection will be inspected (Level I), plus the following:
Inspection of accessible areas of attics, basements, and crawlspaces
Accessible areas of the chimney exterior and interior
Accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection
Video scanning, or other thorough inspection, of the flue interior
Evaluation of the flue lining to determine that its material and sizing is appropriate for the appliances being served
Proper clearance to combustibles in the accessible areas listed above
Proper construction and condition of the chimney system in the accessible areas listed above
While the Level II inspection is a rather thorough inspection and requires access to many areas of the building, it does not require removal of permanent parts of the building, such as siding, chase covers or wall coverings.
Level III Inspection
As you might expect, a Level III inspection is the most thorough of all of the inspection types. A Level III includes all the areas in the Level I and Level II inspections plus inspection of concealed areas of the building. Just understand that the examination of concealed areas will be limited to areas reasonably suspected of containing hazards that cannot be evaluated otherwise.
A Level III inspection of concealed areas will be specifically to investigate known or suspected problems. Understandably, portions of a Level III inspection could likely require destructive action to the structure. The inspector will discuss what areas will be affected with the building owner prior to the inspection.