We perform Chimney Inspections for residents in the Greater Fresno area including towns like Clovis CA, Los Banos CA, Mendota CA, Visalia CA, Concoran CA, Avenal CA, Parlier CA, and more!
Chimney Inspections will detect problems or areas of vulnerability in your chimney system and help prevent additional damage which could end up costing thousands of dollars if left unattended. In fact, an annual chimney inspection is just as important as your yearly chimney cleaning, if not more so.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends having your chimney inspected annually to ensure that it is in good condition and proper working order. If your chimney is in need of repairs, it could be interfering with the efficiency of your venting system or not functioning safely, which could put your family and home in danger.
Problems in your chimney system are not always apparent from the outside and many homeowners make the mistake of thinking an unused fireplace is problem-free. In reality, even when your fireplace is not in use, it still faces deterioration or even blockages from debris or nests. These unseen issues could potentially lead to a house fire or dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning if left untreated. To ensure that your fireplace & chimney are safe to use during the busy burning season, it’s best to get an annual chimney inspection first.
Fireplaces Plus offers chimney inspections performed by fully trained chimney technicians. Our crew will spot any vulnerabilities in your chimney & venting system, and work quickly to repair or replace broken components so you can get back to enjoying a beautifully burning fire. Even if you rarely use your fireplace & only burn seasoned wood in every fire, it’s still extremely important to get a yearly inspection to ensure that your chimney has not sustained any damage between usages. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
When Should I Get a Chimney Inspection?
If you notice performance issues with your chimney, fireplace, stove, or insert, it may be an indication that something is in need of service or repair which is not allowing the system to operate properly. As soon as unusual issues begin to appear, call immediately to schedule a chimney inspection. Each year, over 25,000 homes suffer from chimney fire damage and loss of property or life. Don’t delay; talk with our chimney experts to find out if your chimney is operating safely.
Here are other times you should consider getting a chimney inspection:
- New Home Purchase- If you’ve recently purchased a house (old or new), it’s important to get the chimney & flue system inspected. Many times, homebuyers are unaware of the last homeowner’s fireplace usage. If you do not know when the chimney was last inspected, schedule a chimney inspection to ensure it is functioning properly.
- You’re Upgrading or Changing Your Heating System. If you are purchasing a new appliance such as a wood or pellet burning stove, heat or smoke output may be increased depending on the unit. Get your chimney inspected to ensure that your current chimney & venting system can handle the new changes effectively & efficiently.
- You Don’t Use Your Fireplace Often. Animals, birds, and other critters can find their way into your chimney and flue systems and create blockages or clogs with their nests when your chimney is not in use. Before you light the first fire of the season, ensure that there are no blockages that can prevent gasses from escaping out of your home.
- Late Summer/Early Fall. Harsh winters with a lot of freezing then thawing can take its toll on masonry & liner materials. Summer can also cause any present creosote to dry up and become combustible. To ensure that all of your chimney components have survived the changing weather conditions, have your system inspected by a professional.
Three Levels of Chimney Inspections
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has established industry standards which define each level of a chimney inspection. Here is what you can expect for each level of service:
Level 1 Chimney Inspection
Level 1 chimney inspections should be performed annually and are best scheduled at the same time as a chimney cleaning. A Level 1 chimney inspection is needed if the following conditions apply:
•Chimney performance hasn’t noticeably changed.
•Your heating appliance and venting system have not changed.
•You only want to be assured of the continued safe use of the chimney and fireplace, wood stove, or other heating system.
The chimney inspection technician will examine the readily accessible interior and exterior parts of the chimney system and examine the condition of the:
Smoke Chamber • Firebox • Damper • Stovepipe • Chimney Cap • Chimney Crown • Chimney Exterior • Masonry • Mortar Joints • Chimney Liner
Technicians will also check for dangerous blockages or combustible deposits and decide whether or not your flue is in need of a cleaning. Chimney Sweeps will also look for cracks or defects in the exterior of the structure down the side of the house and on the roof.
Level 2 Chimney Inspection
A Level 2 chimney inspection includes each task in Level 1, but also contains an in-depth inspection & examination of the entire chimney system and heating appliance. A Level 2 chimney inspection is needed if one or more of the following conditions apply:
•You’ve purchase a home and are unaware of the performance of the chimney.
•You want to make modifications to your chimney or heating system or upgrade your heating appliance.
•You recently had a chimney fire.
During a Level 2 inspection, all internal joints and surfaces will be looked at. A special video camera is used to take a close look at the inside of the flue and chimney, top to bottom. Any areas of concern which are identified are written up in a report for the homeowner. Chimney technicians will then discuss repair and service alternatives that will get the chimney up to par.
Level 3 Chimney Inspection
Level 3 chimney inspections are extremely rare. They include all of the tasks involved in the first two inspection levels, plus a full investigation of potential deterioration in areas which are not readily accessible. Components of the heating system may need to be removed, such as bricks, metal flue pipes, masonry, chimney crowns, interior walls of the chimney, and more. A Level 3 inspection is required only when Level 1 and 2 inspections reveal a serious problem that requires immediate action.