Maryland Chimney Inspections

Image of a House Severely Damaged in a Chimney FireMany homeowners today may not know the importance of having their chimney inspected. First and foremost, all heating appliances and fireplaces have inherent dangers. These appliances emit exhaust gas as they combust fuel. In theory the majority of exhaust gases will exit through the flue. However, if the system is breached, exhaust gases will take the path of least resistance.

This path can lead into your home and result in the loss of life and property. Carbon monoxide poisonings, house fires, and deaths are serious potential results. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States. Men and seniors have the highest death-rate-ratio.

When you contract for a chimney inspection, always ask for the level of inspection that you believe will be most appropriate for your chimney and venting system. Each level of inspection covers specific items that covers your needs. As Certified Chimney Professional, we know what it take to clean and maintain your chimney and stove heating units.

Types of Chimney and Heating Appliance Inspections

Certified Chimney ProfessionalLevel 1 Inspection: Is a visual inspection that requires no tools and is typically done during routine cleaning or maintenance. Requirements cover the design, installation, maintenance, and inspection of chimneys, fireplaces, venting systems, and solid fuel-burning appliances in residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies. Your technician will be looking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits. A Level 1 inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service, under the same conditions, and with the continued use of the same appliance.

Level 2 Inspection: Typically is requested when the property transfers ownership or the homeowner has concern with proper operation. It involves the use of tools and a camera scan, and access to to readily accessible areas. During the inspection the following are performed verification of clearance, installation, structure, and operation. This level of inspection should be done any time there are changes made to a system or change to a different type of fuel usage or during the change of a heating appliance. After a chimney fires or earth quake, a Level 2 inspection is required or when any changes are made to the system.

Changes to a system can include a change in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth inspection than a Level 1 inspection. When a Level 1 or Level 2 inspection suggests a hidden hazard and the evaluation cannot be performed without special tools to access concealed areas of the chimney or flue, a Level 3 inspection is recommended.

Level 3 Inspection: addresses the proper construction and the condition of concealed portions of the chimney structure and the flue. Removal or destruction, as necessary. A Level 2 inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection, plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations. A Level 3 inspection involves all of level 1 and level 2 elements plus a more comprehensive review that requires removing structures to access a portion of chimney that is not reachable or is in a concealed area. This type of inspection is typically done when operation is a concern.