You know it’s vital for fireplace owners to have their fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis. But do you know why it’s so important? And do you know what type of chimney inspection you should be having? There are three levels of chimney inspection, each appropriate for a different reason. Make sure you know what type of chimney inspection you need and what your chimney company’s personnel will be looking for so that you can make sure you’re getting the top service in the region and to make sure that your family and home are kept safe all winter long. If you live in Dallas or the surrounding communities, the company you’ll want to hire is Black Velvet Chimney.

What We Will Be Looking For

snow covered chimney and roofWhen we clean your chimney, what we’re looking to clean out is creosote. Wood contains moisture, no matter how long you leave it to dry out. When you burn that wood, moisture and chemicals are released and float up your chimney in the form of smoke. As that smoke hits the cooler area at the top of your chimney, it condenses and forms a layer of grime and soot that is highly odiferous and flammable. That gunk is creosote, and even as much as an eighth of an inch of build-up is enough to catch a spark and start a chimney fire. It’s very important that you get the creosote cleared out to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.

We will also be looking for any areas of cracks or chinks in the important parts of your chimney. We’ll take a look at the chimney cap and crown, the flashing and the dampers, and the chimney liner. The chimney liner is an especially important part of your chimney system because it protects your chimney from the corrosive effects of smoke or moisture that may have mixed with creosote and trickled down your chimney. It also protects the combustibles that are inside your home and close to the fireplace, If these are allowed to get too hot, then they can start on fire and cause a devastating home fire. Your chimney liner can also cause your fireplace to run more efficiently if it is properly fitted.

Three Levels of Inspection

There are three different levels of chimney inspection. A Level One inspection is just a very basic inspection of the things we can see. If you’ve been diligent about keeping up on your chimney inspections, making sure that these are completed every year, and if you take good care of your chimney in-between times, then you can probably get by with a Level One. However, if you even suspect that there may be a problem with your chimney or your fireplace, then you’re better off getting a Level Two inspection.

In a Level Two chimney inspection, we’ll actually go into your chimney with our video equipment and check out the depths to make sure that your chimney liner is in good condition. The smoke from your fire needs a smooth place to slide through on its way out of the house. If there are cracks or chinks in the liner, the smoke won’t be able to glide through as easily and there will be more spots for creosote and other gunk to build up. This level of inspection allows you to see exactly what our chimney sweeps see, and we’ll be sure to explain what the video inspection shows and what each crack or chink means. We’ll make recommendations for improvements that can be made or repairs that are necessary if we do find any areas of concern. We’ll also check for fit and recommend any changes that should be made to make sure that you’re getting the most for your burn.

Another great thing about a Level Two inspection is that you can use it if you’re making a home transaction. In fact, if you’ve made any changes to your home’s heating system or are planning to sell your home, you’ll need to have a Level Two inspection completed.

A Level Three inspection only needs to be undertaken if there are definite areas of major concern, areas that will need major repair work completed. A Level Three inspection will consist of a Level One plus a Level Two inspection, as well as removal of any parts of your chimney that will better allow us to see damaged areas and make repairs.

Get the Most From Your Inspection

If it’s time to have your chimney inspected, why not get the most from it by having a video inspection completed? You’ll be able to see what your sweep is going to do and better understand any repairs that will be taking place. Your chimney sweep company should be happy to complete a Level Two inspection and share those results with you. At Black Velvet Chimney, we welcome the chance to be transparent by sharing your video inspection with you. Don’t be scammed by other companies who aren’t as willing to show you the proof of their work. Hire us to do your inspection and cleaning!