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.
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).
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.
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.
Everyone from the Superiornmental 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.