Sacramento’s Chimney Safety Inspectors
Having the combustible creosote cleaned from your chimney is important, but an inspection to look for the presence of potential hazards, defects, or deterioration is just as important as a cleaning. You should only hire a CSIA- certified and qualified chimney technician to perform a safety inspection on your chimney. The technicians at A to Z Chimney Services use the ChimScan closed circuit camera so that both you and your chimney sweep can take the closest possible look at the condition of your chimney flue.
The technicians at A to Z Chimney Services look for the following during a chimney video inspection:
- proper construction
- clearance to combustibles
- water intrusion
- signs of damage caused by a previous chimney fire
- built-up creosote
- cracked or collapsed flue tiles
- mortar protrusions
- evidence of seismic events
Basically, we look for any sign that your chimney is in distress and thus a threat to your home and safety. We also offer helpful tips and advice on how to maintain the condition of your chimney, extend the amount of time between cleanings, and get the most out of your burning experience.
When Should My Chimney Be Inspected?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that all chimneys, fireplaces, and vents be inspected annually. In addition to this requirement, there are other times when chimney and venting systems should be inspected, such as:
- After any unusual, or sudden occurrence event, such as a chimney fire, lightning strike, or earthquake.
- Prior to purchasing a home with an existing chimney.
- Whenever changes are made to a chimney or vent system, including replacement of connected appliances.
- Prior to major system repairs.
The 3 Levels Of Chimney Inspection
Chimney inspections come in many forms, and you should be aware that not all inspections are alike. At A to Z Chimney Services, we follow the inspection procedure outlined by the NFPA, which divides chimney inspections into three categories or levels. Because we feel so strongly that an educated customer is a customer for life, we are one of the few companies in the Sacramento area that adheres to these strict guidelines and gives you the choice as to which inspection you desire to be performed on your home. Different circumstances will determine which level of inspection your chimney requires.
Level I: A Level I inspection is the most basic level of inspection, while Level II and Level III inspections are progressively more detailed and comprehensive. A Level I inspection is completed during each chimney sweeping and is included free with every sweep that A to Z Chimney Services performs. A Level I inspection is recommended for a chimney that’s under continued service, when no conditions have changed, and is limited to “readily accessible” portions of the venting system, connected appliance(s), and the chimney connection.
Level II: A Level II inspection is more thorough than a Level I inspection and is recommended when conditions of use for the appliance or venting system are changing (such as when an appliance has been replaced or when the input rating or efficiency has changed). Level II inspections are also necessary prior to a flue relining, upon sale or transfer of the property, or after a chimney fire, earthquake, tornado, lightning strike, or other sudden occurrence event. During a Level II inspection, the ChimScan camera allows the A to Z Chimney Services technician and the homeowner to view images of the chimney’s interior on a computer monitor from the comfort of the home. A Level II inspection includes all of the requirements of a Level I inspection, in addition to inspection of “accessible” areas of attics, basements, and crawlspaces.
Level III: A Level III inspection is the most detailed of all inspection types and includes inspection of concealed areas of the building. However, examination of concealed areas will be limited to areas reasonably suspected of containing hazards that cannot be evaluated otherwise. A Level III inspection includes all areas covered in a Level I and Level II inspection, as well as inspection of concealed areas to investigate known or suspected problems. In as much as certain portions of a Level III inspection require destructive action to the building, the inspector will discuss these areas with the building owner prior to the inspection.
Enjoy your fires this year with peace of mind, knowing your chimney was swept and inspected by one of A to Z Chimney Services’ CSIA-certified chimney sweeps. To make an appointment today, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online appointment form.
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We would definitely recommend your fireplace/dryer duct cleaning, sunscreens and retractable screen doors to everyone. You’ve done a great job for us -- on both of the homes we’ve owned. Thanks!
~ The Hansens, Fair Oaks, CA
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