The fall season is in full swing, and with the weather turning cooler and more time spent indoors, you’re probably starting to dream of relaxed nights at home, watching tv or just relaxing in front of a mesmerizing fire, popping and crackling in your fireplace. As those days approach quickly, it’s time to think about having your chimney inspected and cleaned if you haven’t already done so. Although your chimney may seem like it’s clean and in good condition, there are things that aren’t necessarily visible to the untrained brick chimneyeye. That’s why it’s so important to call Black Velvet Chimney to perform that annual cleaning and inspection, as recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Levels of Inspection

Did you realize that there are three levels of inspection that a chimney company can perform? A Level One inspection is just one where the easily accessible parts of your chimney and fireplace are looked at, checked for areas that might be troublesome, and dirty cleaned. This level is called for if you have been religious about having your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.

If you’ve had changes in your chimney or if you’ve had a new appliance installed, suspect chimney damage to areas such as the chimney liner, or if some outside event may have weakened the structure of or caused damage to your chimney, you’ll need a Level Two inspection. This calls for a more extensive examination of your chimney on the outside and also for a video inspection on the interior of your chimney.

A Level Three inspection is one where there has been extensive damage to your chimney, and deeper digging is required.

Three Things We’ll Be Looking For

If you’re having a video inspection performed on your chimney, there are three things that we’ll be looking for. One is a build-up of creosote in your flue liner or smoke chamber. A creosote buildup can smell bad, but even worse, it can cause a chimney fire because creosote is highly flammable. It’s important to get a build-up of even as little as an eighth of an inch [] cleared out of your chimney to avoid the danger of a chimney fire when you’re using your fireplace.

Another thing we’ll be looking for is cracks or gaps in the smoke chamber or in the liner of your chimney. If there are cracks or gaps, dangerous gases that should be escaping through your chimney may be re-entering your home, where they can cause health issues for you or your family or pets. Smoke will also not flow as smoothly out of your chimney, leaving you with a greater creosote build-up and a smoky house.

We’ll also look to make sure that there aren’t blockages from birds’ or other critters’ nests being left in your chimney, or from loose leaves, twigs, or other floating debris that may have blown down your chimney. These blockages can also be a place for a spark to catch and start a chimney fire.

Let Us Help

If you are worried that these three dangers may be hiding out in your chimney, give Black Velvet Chimney and let us perform a video inspection of your chimney.