Levels of Safety Inspection

Chimney System During Inspection

Our CSIA Certified Technicians are trained to follow the NFPA 211 Standard, which states that all chimney and venting systems require annual inspections. All of our fireplace and chimney cleanings include an inspection of the entire system, top to bottom. 

There are other instances in which an inspection should be performed, outside of your annual service:

  • You have had, or suspect, there has been a chimney fire/high heat event 
  • Lightning strike or impact (tree limbs, etc.) 
  • You have noticed a change in the way your fireplace is operating
  • You are looking to make changes to your fireplace, adding/removing appliances, replacing your flue liner, or changing the fuel type
  • You’re moving into a new home! Inspections before the purchase of your home can provide insight into the fireplace and flue system, along with any potential repair costs

What’s Included In A Chimney Inspection? 

Pratt’s Chimney Sweeps are trained to provide three different levels of inspections (per the NFPA 211 Standard). Level II inspections are provided standard with all of our fireplace chimney cleanings, offering a full, top to bottom assessment of your fireplace system. 

Level I

When Do You Need A Level I Chimney Inspection? 

A Level I inspection is a minimum requirement for your fireplace and/or appliance flue inspection. Level I fireplace & chimney inspections are recommended if your appliance or venting system has not changed. This is not recommended if appliances have been removed or added to the ventilation system or any other changes/adjustments to usage have occurred. 

What To Expect: 

In a Level I inspection, your CSIA-Certified Chimney Technician will inspect the readily available portions of the chimney system, both interior and exterior, plus accessible portions of the appliance, ventilation run, and connections. Pratt’s Technicians will inspect for structural soundness, venting defects, installation requirements, confirm termination covers are present, and verify that your chimney is free of obstruction without a build up of combustible deposits.

Chimney System During Inspection

Level II

When Do You Need A Level II Chimney Inspection? 

A Level II inspection is the standard for inspections that we provide with our fireplace and chimney cleanings. 

When selling or purchasing a home, you may notice that your home inspector recommends having a Level II inspection completed by a Certified Chimney Sweep. This is an important step in the home sale/home purchase process, providing a full assessment of the fireplace, chimney, and appliance flue system. The inspection provides insight into any code or operating issues within these systems, any unmet safety standards, and determines cost associated with any repairs required. 

Other factors that may require a Level II fireplace and chimney inspection include: high heat events/chimney fires, acts of God (lightning strike, impact from trees/branches, tornado/derecho/high wind events), or if you have noticed a change in your chimney draft and/or suspect blockage from an animal/nesting material. 

What To Expect:

A Level II inspection, while it includes all things covered in a Level I inspection, does delve deeper into the venting structure of your fireplace and/or appliance flue systems. Level II inspections often include a visual assist from a camera system to scan the interior of the flue system to inspect for defects such as deteriorating mortar joints and cracked flue systems. A Level II Inspection will determine if proper clearances from combustibles are met where accessible. Our Level II fireplace and chimney inspections cover the exterior chimney, as well as the interior, including, but not limited to attics, basements, and crawl spaces. 

Level III

When Do You Need A Level III Chimney Inspection? 

Level III inspections are recommended when a lower level inspection suggests there may be hazards beyond where accessible. Often, Level III fireplace and chimney inspections require tools and alterations to the fireplace and chimney system to allow for access to fully inspect what would normally be inaccessible portions of your fireplace and/or chimney. 

What To Expect:

A Level III inspection determines whether the fireplace and flue system is properly constructed/installed within concealed portions of the chimney/chase structure. It will include all the areas and items inspected with a lower level chimney inspection, as well as gaining access to areas of the chimney/chase structure that are not readily accessible in a traditional inspection. This may require removal of portions of the chimney structure (chimney crown, chase cover, interior wall/panel, or exterior brick).