Even if there are no obvious problems with your fireplace, there are certain times when a chimney sweep should be hired to inspect and/or clean your chimney, and they are: Annually after winter use, before buying a home, and before selling a home. According to the National Fire Protection Association-211 Code Book a level 2 chimney inspection is actually a requirement before the sale or transfer of property. An inspection is also a good idea simply because your chimney’s condition could become a factor in the sale of your home, particularly if repairs are needed.
For purposes of getting the best possible offer for your home, it’s best to make any needed chimney repairs before putting your house up for sale. Since an inspection of the chimney is ultimately a requirement, the best course of action is to have it done beforehand and get problem areas taken care of.
Problems Revealed in Inspections
Inspections often reveal that fireplaces, chimneys, and installations of heating appliances are not in compliance with safety standards. Neglected chimneys and fireplaces often deteriorate as a result of use, harsh weather conditions, and the simple passing of time. In some cases, a professional may discover that a fireplace is built incorrectly or that a heating appliance is not installed properly.
Typical problems that chimney professionals discover during an inspection of heating appliances are:
- Not enough distance between hot surfaces on a heating system and combustible materials; and
- The chimney liner is the wrong size or is not connected properly.
Level 2 Chimney Inspection
There are three levels of chimney inspections; and Level 2, which encompasses requirements in Level 1, is required prior to the sale of a home. The following is required in a Level 2 chimney inspection:
- All readily accessible parts of the chimney are examined.
- Portions of the chimney interior and exterior are checked for signs of damage.
- The chimney technician verifies that the chimney is free of obstructions and combustible materials.
- The attic and crawlspace are accessed, to check for signs of chimney damage.
- A video camera may be used to check for cracks and any other type of damage in the flue lining.
Hire a Professional Chimney Sweep
Because a chimney that is not working properly can be a serious and even deadly hazard, it’s important to hire a licensed and certified chimney sweep. A chimney professional will be able to recognize whether your chimney meets building code requirements. Professional sweeps stay informed about the latest best practices in the profession.
Home inspectors state that in preparation for the sale of a home, the chimney should be inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep.
While you’re checking off the many things to be done in order to sell your house, don’t forget to have your chimney inspected. Contact our trained and certified chimney technicians for all of your venting needs.