Many homeowners struggle with the anticipated cost of paying for both a home inspection and a chimney sweep. However, chimney sweeps have valuable expertise that home inspectors cannot touch. Think of it this way—when you have a specific problem with your throat, do you head to your family doctor or an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist? If you have the choice, you’ll choose the ENT. Opting for a chimney sweep is the same thing.
Many home inspectors are uncomfortable quoting codes when it comes to fireplaces and chimneys. Chimney sweeps who are certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) have in-depth knowledge of national and local fire codes, so you can get specific knowledge about any problems and how to fix them. What codes are often broken?
- Chimneys that are too short or too high. Chimneys should be 3 feet higher than the roof on the shortest side and 2 feet taller than any part of the building within 10 feet.
- Inadequate space between openings and joinings from combustibles. There should be at least 2 inches of airspace between all combustibles and interior chimneys.
- A separated fireplace face that has not been bonded to the fireplace itself. This can allow heat to reach combustibles or even make a secondary chimney area.
- If there are smoke stains above the firebox or outside the firebox, it’s a sign that something is wrong with the structure of the chimney or the grate. An inspector can identify the problem and recommend a solution.
- Blockages are another obvious issue in a chimney. Animals, leaves and yard debris can all accumulate and then lead to a deadly backup of carbon monoxide inside of the home.
There are three different levels of chimney and fireplace inspections. Even if you only hire a chimney inspector for a Level 1 inspection, it will be more detailed than a traditional home inspection. A Level 1 inspection looks at the interior surfaces of fireplace smoke chambers. A Level 2 inspection should be performed when buying or selling a home, and it includes an inspection of all visible exterior portions, the interior surfaces and the flue. A Level 3 inspection is not often performed, but it includes Level 1 and Level 2 and gaining access to hidden parts of the chimney. A Level 3 inspection requires a certain amount of dismantling or destruction to complete. Regardless of what you need, Clean Sweep can help.
A High-Quality Chimney Inspection from Clean Sweep
Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep services designed to keep your family safe.