While the buying frenzy of early spring 2022 is starting to cool off, there’s no question that many Marylanders are still searching for the perfect place to call home as we move into the summer. As you walk your clients through the stages of purchasing their home this summer, we encourage you to remind them of the importance of a chimney inspection from a professional.

Of course, home inspectors are known for their astute attention to detail, but there are some areas that can escape their expertise. The chimney is often one of them! Here’s how the Clean Sweep team can step in and offer the peace of mind your clients deserve before making one of the largest purchases of their lifetime!

Code Expertise

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, giving you and your clients specific knowledge about any issues detected and how to fix them.

Common Code Violations Detected During Chimney Inspections

  • Chimneys that are either 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.
  • Mold detection in crawl spaces due to water entry issues.

In-Depth Inspection

There are three different levels of chimney and fireplace inspections. 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 can require a certain amount of dismantling or destruction to complete. While Level 1 inspections involve the least in-depth requirements of the three, keep in mind that hiring a chimney inspector for a Level 1 inspection will still provide your client with more detailed insights than a traditional home inspector can deliver.

Prepare Your Home Ahead of a Sale with Clean Sweep Maryland

Clean Sweep Maryland has the professional equipment necessary to remove any amount of creosote from your chimney, along with performing repairs to your chimney, your liner or your insulation.  Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, dryer vent cleaning, air duct cleaning and gutter cleaning services designed to keep your home in wonderful condition and your family safe.