For A Safer Home, Schedule An Annual Chimney Inspection With Lou Curley’s Chimney Service

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that all chimneys and vents be inspected annually, including chimneys and vents serving fireplaces, stoves, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and clothes dryers.

Inspections are designed to give you a good idea of how your system is performing, whether or not you’re in need of any fireplace repairs, and whether or not it’s time for a chimney cleaning, which is why inspections should be performed every year.

Tech loading van with equipment with garage in the background.

Has it been a year or more since your last inspection?

When hiring someone to perform your chimney inspection, be sure to check for certification with a nationally recognized agency. The Fireplace Investigation, Research, and Education Services (F.I.R.E.)-certified Fireplace & Chimney Inspector credential is the only chimney inspection certification in the country. To earn this credential, the inspector has to take a six day, fast-paced, hands-on class, and pass an intense, comprehensive exam.

When you entrust your chimney inspection to us, you can rest assured we’ll provide a thorough and accurate assessment of your chimney and its current condition. We’ve inspected thousands of chimneys over the years, and we stay current on all codes and standards. We’re also F.I.R.E.-certified Chimney & Fireplace Inspectors, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)-certified Professional Chimney Inspectors, and we’ve taken countless trainings and classes, including the CSIA’s Inspection & Report Writing class.

What Is A Chimney Inspection & What Is Its Purpose?

The purpose of a chimney inspection is to provide you, the homeowner, with an accurate idea of your chimney’s condition, and alert you to any dangers, damage, or issues that need to be addressed for performance and safety.

The NFPA breaks down chimney inspections into three different levels:

  • Level 1 Inspections — A level 1 inspection is recommended for chimneys which have been regularly up-kept, and which haven’t undergone any changes in use, fuel type, liner, or attached appliance. During a level 1, the basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue is checked, and the chimney is checked for blockages and combustible deposits like creosote. Basic appliance installation and connections are also evaluated.
  • Level 2 Inspections — A level 2 inspection is recommended for chimneys that have undergone changes, like a change in fuel type, liner, or appliance. These are also required when the property is sold or transferred, and when a malfunction, chimney fire, or external event has occurred that may have damaged the chimney. Level 2 inspections include everything that’s included in a level 1, but they also include a video scan of the flue interior, and a look at the accessible portions of the chimney’s exterior and interior, including attics, crawl spaces, and basements. We’ll also check for proper clearance from combustibles in accessible locations.
  • Level 3 Inspections — A level 3 inspection is recommended only when serious hazards are suspected, and when the removal of certain components of the building or chimney is required to gain access to the areas in question. These inspections include everything in a level 1 and level 2 inspection, but, as stated, may require the removal of chimney interior walls, chimney crown, or other chimney or building components.
Virtual inspection equipment and vacuum in the background.
Tech doing chimney inspection with safety equipment.
Tech doing chimney inspection with safety gear.

Although a video scan isn’t required during a level 1 inspection, all of our inspections include video scans. By scanning the interior of the flue, from top to bottom, we’re able to get a much better look at the overall system’s condition in order to determine if any sort of chimney repair service is required — so to us, it just makes sense to make it part of every inspection.

Do Home Inspectors Inspect The Chimney?

While you may think the home inspector will take care of it, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors Standard of Practice, inspectors are not required to inspect the flue or chimney interior during a home inspection. Are you buying or selling a home? Make sure you schedule your level 2 chimney inspection with a CSIA-certified chimney professional.

Do HVAC Contractors Inspect The Chimney Venting Your Oil Or Gas Furnace Or Boiler?

When you have your boiler or furnace serviced annually, your HVAC contractor may clear out debris from the base of the chimney, but they won’t clean or inspect the chimney itself. Like any chimney, the chimney venting your oil or gas furnace or boiler should be inspected annually and swept as needed, so be sure to schedule your annual inspection with one of our CSIA- and F.I.R.E.-certified chimney sweeps. We also reline furnace and boiler flues, so if we find damage or corrosion during our annual inspection, we can help.

Schedule Your Inspection Today

Ready to schedule your inspection? Scheduling is easy with Lou Curley’s Chimney Service — simply call 610-626-2439 or request an appointment right here on our website! Wherever you live in Delaware County or the Main Line area, experience you can trust is only a call or click away.


Smoky fireplace troubleshooting is offered as one of our professional chimney services. Don’t let a smoke-stained fireplace facing ruin your fireside enjoyment.