You may not realize it but the chimney is a vital part of your home and should maintain perfect working order. If you have issues with your chimney it can lead to all kinds of dangerous situations, carbon monoxide, falling bricks, leaks, fire hazards and a world of other things.

Having routine chimney inspections and repairs as needed should be added to your list of Spring household inspections. When the winter season is over that is the time most people report as having chimney issues, mostly because of the freeze thaw cycle we go through here in the north. You may not realize it but the winter is harsh for many aspects of your home.

When you hire a professional to inspect your chimney they will also take a look at all the parts associated with your chimney, such as fireplaces, wood/coal stoves, furnaces, boilers, water heaters and even dryers. Those things are not always on the top of homeowners’ lists to have annual inspections for. When most people think of a home inspection they think of the common things, gutters, windows, doors, roofs, they typically don’t ever think about the chimney or all the parts of the home that go along with it. A home inspector doesn’t necessarily inspect the chimney, however.

When you decide to hire someone to inspect your chimney you want to be sure they know what they are doing. If you find a good inspector they will be certified in certain things such as F.I.R.E or IAFCI. This may not seem important but rest assured it is. You don’t want to trust just anyone to keeping your family and home safe and hazard free.

There are three levels of chimney inspections according to the National Fire Protection Association, those levels are as follows:

Level 1: This level is recommended for a chimney that receives regular service, and where none of the parts of the chimney have been changed, along with the chimney staying under the same conditions. This type of inspection covers the interior, exterior and accessible parts of the appliance along with chimney connection.

Level 2: This level is mandatory when you make any type of change to the chimney system such as changing the type of fuel you use. This level is also required before you list your house for sale to ensure the new owners will have no issues.

Level 3: This covers the previous two levels and also includes removal of components of the chimney where necessary. This type of inspection is the most thorough. Most inspectors will provide this type of inspection is they suspect serious hazards.

So, now that you know about the levels and annual chimney inspections, when was the last time you had your chimney inspected or cleaned? Spring is here and now is the time to have that chimney inspected. Keep your family safe and your chimney in perfect working order.