If you are familiar with real estate, mortgage brokers, or state and municipal codes, you may be familiar with home inspectors. The are NOT to be confused with a chimney inspector. Expecting a home inspector to properly assess the complex workings of the chimney system? That’s like expecting a sport’s car expert to inspect an RV. They are similar, yes. They have some of the same features, yes. However, there is a lot more to the RV than the car. Likewise, there is a lot more to a chimney than meets the eye.
The CSIA Difference
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has been the industry standard for training, education, and certification since the 1980’s. Members are required to undergo aggressive training and field hours. They also have to re-certify every three years by way of exam or continued education.
Only a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps® (CCS) has the experience and expertise to inspect the entire chimney system properly. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) along with CSIA recommends annual chimney inspections. There are three levels of inspections:
- Level One
This is the annual inspection. It’s scheduled when no changes are made to the chimney system. This inspection is a visual check of all easily accessible parts of the chimney system.
- Level Two
This inspection should be scheduled when the chimney system is changed in any way. For example, when fuel is changed, appliances are installed, or there has been parts repair or replacement. This will happen when a level one inspection requires further investigation. It involves accessing hidden portions of the chimney system.
- Level Three
This is the most thorough inspection. It’s scheduled when a level two inspection requires further investigation. During a level three inspection parts of the home can be removed. This allows access to all parts of the chimney system. These include areas surrounding the chimney system, like in attics, crawl spaces, and behind walls.
Why These Levels of Inspection are Important
The three levels of chimney inspections include any issue that might arise with the chimney. Even the level one inspection is more thorough than that of a home inspector. According to Total Home Inspection the home inspector will assess the visible parts of the chimney. These include the flashing, masonry, and chimney cap. However, a home inspector or general contractor does not have the trained eye that a certified chimney sweep does. By the time a chimney reaches the level of damage that an inspector checklist describes, (damaged brick, cracked joints, staining) it could be overwhelming. Regardless, there is more than likely extensive damage that would have been noticed first by a certified chimney sweep.
Scheduling an inspection of your chimney may be for real estate sales, property ownership transfer, or an insurance policy. No matter the reason, you want to be sure your documentation will be accepted. Hudson Chimney not only offers inspection services. We offer video documentation of the interior of the chimney, as well as a detailed report for your records. The CCS credential is what your insurance, loan, or real estate broker will look for. Choose a certified chimney sweep every time.
Call Hudson Chimney and ask about our inspection services today or request an appointment online!