Chimney Inspections & Video Scans
The Chimney Safety Institute of America is one of many national safety organizations that recommends that you have your chimney inspected annually. When inspecting your chimney, the certified chimney professionals at Hudson Chimney are looking for many things. We look for oil soot or wood residue—both flammable substances that can cause blockages—while also checking for moisture or water damage that can cause chimney deterioration. We’ll also check that your chimney flue is sized properly, as this is the leading cause of severe damage to chimneys and walls. We’ll check, too, for leaves, birds and animals that may be inhibiting proper air flow. Let Hudson Chimney inspect your chimney so that you can be sure there are no dangers hiding there. And don’t just take our word for it; we are happy to show you photographic and/or video evidence of the condition of your chimney. We proudly use the Chim-Scan camera to conduct our thorough video scans.
The Facts About Chimneys and House Fires
- An average of 50,100 heating fires in residential buildings occur in the U.S. each year, resulting in an annual average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries, and $326 million in property loss.
- Heating is the second leading cause of all residential building fires.
- Residential heating fires peak in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This 4-hour period accounts for 30 percent of all residential heating fires.
- Residential heating fires peak in January (21 percent) and decline to the lowest point during the summer months from June to August.
- Confined fires—those fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners—account for 87 percent of residential heating fires.
- 30 percent of the nonconfined residential heating fires occur because the heat source is too close to combustibles.
Chimney Inspections Explained
Did you know that there are three levels of chimney inspection? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) adopted these levels into code over a decade ago in order to remove inconsistencies in inspections and streamline the inspection process across the nation and the industry. All chimney inspections must now be clearly defined as Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3.
Your chimney sweep can advise you about which type of inspection your chimney needs. Here’s an explanation of the three levels of inspections as defined by the NFPA 211:
- Level 1 Inspection: The Level 1 inspection takes a basic look at the condition of your chimney, using only the naked eye to do the inspection. This inspection is recommended if your appliance and venting system have not changed and you plan to use your system the same way you always have. Level 1 inspections are also recommended if your chimney is under continued service. During this inspection, our chimney service technician will examine the readily accessible portions of your chimney’s exterior and interior as well as the accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. We will look for soundness of your chimney structure and flue and make sure that your appliance has been installed and connected correctly. We’ll also verify that your chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.
- Level 2 Inspection: This level of inspection uses the Chim-Scan camera and is required if changes have been made to your chimney. These changes may include fuel type, changes to the shape of or material in the flue, or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating, or efficiency. This is also the scan for your chimney if you just sold or transferred a property, or after an operation malfunction or an external event like a building or chimney fire, seismic or weather event.
- Level 3 Inspection: When serious hazards are suspected, this inspection involves an intensive analysis of your chimney. Level 3 inspections require some demolition in order for a chimney technician to physically get inside the chimney walls to check clearances. This inspection includes all the areas and items checked in Level 1 and Level 2 inspections, but also requires that your chimney’s crown or interior wall be removed.
Schedule your annual chimney inspection with us today by calling 904-282-4159.
Chimney and fireplace repairs are just one part of our chimney and fireplace services here at Hudson Chimney. If it has to do with chimneys, fireplaces, stoves or inserts, we can take care of whatever you need.