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Certified Chimney Inspections

Why Does A Chimney Need An Inspection?

We’re all accustomed to the value of proper maintenance and inspection of a car: it helps lengthen the car’s life, makes it efficient, makes it safe, often saves us money in the long run, and always offers us peace of mind.

Properly maintaining and inspecting your chimney is just as important — your chimney is allowing you to enjoy warmth and togetherness with your family and friends, but its many parts are also doing hard, important work, keeping you all safe. A proper, National Fire Protection Association-standard inspection ensures that all of your chimney’s parts are performing properly; that harmful gases and byproducts aren’t coming into your home through cracks or gaps; that damage or leaks aren’t letting water degrade your chimney; and that you know — as early as possible — what you might need to repair to keep your home and family safe and warm.

A-1 Chimney Specialist Offers 2 Levels Of Chimney Inspection

Our company provides two different levels of inspection, as outlined in the National Fire Protection Association Code 211 (the Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents and Solid Fuel Burning Appliances).

chimney diagram - Tullahoma TN - A-1 Chimney Specialist

Level 1 Inspection

The NFPA recommends this level of inspection if your system hasn’t been significantly changed, if it’s continuing to vent in the same way it has in the past. We’ll visually examine all of the readily-accessible parts of your chimney’s interior and exterior, making sure the chimney is sound, checking for gaps, cracks, obstruction and other issues. If necessary, your chimney technician will recommend a sweeping of the chimney to remove any blockages, creosote, and to improve your chimney’s performance. Typically a wood-burning fireplace will need to be cleaned more often than a gas fireplace since you have more by-products released during combustion, but frequency of use also determines how often a chimney needs to be swept. Your chimney technician will be able to determine this during the inspection.

Level 2 Inspection

If any major changes are made to your system — for instance, a change from wood to gas fuel, a new flue liner, or a new appliance — you’ll be best served by a more thorough Level 2 inspection. You’ll also opt for a Level 2 inspection if the home is being sold, if a major malfunction has occurred or if an outside event could have caused damage to the chimney. (This can include major weather events, and when major wind storms or tornadoes occur in our area, we highly recommend a Level 2 inspection.) For these inspections, we do everything included in a Level 1 inspection, but also examine the chimney using interior video scanning and inspect your chimney in the crawlspace, basement and attic areas.

When Should I Schedule An Inspection?

Everyone from the Environmental Protection Agency to the American Lung Association recommends an annual chimney inspection, done by an experienced, licensed chimney sweep. That’s part of the National Fire Protection Association’s 211 code, and, of course, our recommendation too. But you’ll also want to schedule an inspection if you notice any issues — leaks, smoke, odor — that may indicate a problem in your chimney. A-1 Chimney Specialist’s technicians can thoroughly inspect your chimney and assess whatever problems may be hiding and recommend the best approach for repairs and returning your chimney to functioning at its best.

To schedule an expert inspection anywhere in the Tullahoma or Winchester, Tenn. area, call A-1 Chimney Specialist, or use our convenient online scheduling form.


If your chimney needs to be repaired or restored, you’re in good hands with A-1’s professional chimney service.

  • review rating 5  Preston was extremely professional, knowledgeable and prompt. He took the time to explain our issue and answered all my questions. I would highly recommend A-1 Chimney Specialist!!

    thumb Paige Wheeler
  • review rating 5  Tanner and Preston more than met our expectations. They were friendly, knowledgeable, timely and professional. Don’t hesitate to use this company. It is rare these days to get this quality of service. Thanks guys. We want to have you back.

    thumb Sharon Doudt
  • review rating 5  Great people to work with. Definitely the best choice for chimney services in the area! FM

    thumb Brandtastic Marketing
  • review rating 5  Great service! Due to unexpected doctor appointments, I had to reschedule two times and they worked with me to get it done as soon as possible. They were very prompt; the living area was left exactly as it was when they arrived (no mess at all!) and answered my questions. I highly recommend them!

    thumb Sally Edwards
  • review rating 5  In a time where customer service is becoming more infrequent than frequent , I have to take a moment to acknowledge the superb above and beyond service my husband and I received from A1 Chimney . First of all , we came to use this company several years ago when they sleeved our 100 year old house's chimney so we could burn real wood . We have used them regularly to check and sweep our chimney since. This year however , I had a chimney fire . Thankfully no damage was done . In looking at my records , I realized I hadn't had the chimney swept in a few years . BIG mistake on my part , hence the fire . So I called the company , sing my woes , asking if it would be possible for them to come out before Thanksgiving , this is less than 2 weeks prior by the way . Kind Marty lets me know the first availability isn't until 12/16 but he will do his best to see what he can do. He calls me back the same day to let me know he had jiggled some things around and could be out 12/13 . I thanked him but asked if there were any cancellations to please let me know. Kind Marty , let me rephrase , very KIND Marty , calls me back a couple of days ago asking if we could be free the Monday pre Thanksgiving . Absolutely , I reply . Well on Monday afternoon Preston and Robert leave after checking for damage , cleaning and confirming the sleeve did exactly what it is designed to do , protect the house in the event a chimney fire takes place , never once suggesting it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't waited 4 years . So THANK YOU all for doing such a wonderful job ! You have made us and my out of town family very happy in making it safe for us to enjoy this holiday with lovely fires , something we / they look forward to on their cold weather visits . May each of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving ! You've certainly made ours !!! Gratefully , Linda & Gill Ramsden

    thumb Linda Ramsden


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