If Cleaning/Decarbonize Is Needed.
A level 1 chimney inspection is the most common type of chimney
inspection. If you have used your fireplace regularly in the past without
experiencing any problems, a level 1 inspection is appropriate. With a
level 1 inspection, the chimney technician will examine the readily
accessible portions of your chimney. This means the technician will
perform a visual inspection with a flashlight, examining all areas of your
chimney and flue that can be viewed without any special tools. Your
technician may use common tools such as a screwdriver or pliers to
examine any openings, but there should be no damage to any
structures or finishes.
If you are making any changes in the way you use your chimney, such
as changing the type of fuel used, relining the flue, or if you’ve had any
accidents or external events that may have caused damage, a level 2
chimney inspection is needed. If you’ve had a building fire, chimney fire
or an earthquake, you will need to have a level 2 inspection preformed.
Also, a level 2 inspection of the chimney is required before you sell
As you probably assumed, a level 2 inspection is more detailed than
level 1. A level 2 chimney inspection includes all of the visual
examination included in a level 1 inspection, plus some additional work
including examination of the attic, crawlspace and other accessible
areas. In a level 2 inspection, a video camera or other device may be
used to examine the flue and check for cracks or damage to the joints
in the chimney’s structure. There should be no removal of the structure
or permanent damaged caused to your chimney in a level 2 inspection.
The level 3 chimney inspection is the most comprehensive type of
chimney inspection. In addition to all of the checks preformed in level 1
and level 2 inspections, a level 3 will also examine the concealed areas
of the chimney. This inspection may also include the removal of certain
parts of the building or chimney structure if necessary. For example,
the chimney crown or parts of the interior chimney wall may have to be
removed in order to perform the in-depth inspection required for a level
3. This type of inspection is performed when serious damage to the
chimney is suspected.