By industry standards definition, there are three different levels of chimney inspections. The inspection standards were established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The inspection levels are referred to as Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.
Level 1 Chimney Inspection (Idaho Stove Works includes this inspection on every chimney sweep/clean)
The first level of chimney inspection is the most basic. This inspection is used to verify that your chimney, appliance, or venting system is working safely. The Level 1 inspection is to be used when no changes have been done to the system and no known problems exist with the structure. This inspection may also be combined with an annual chimney cleaning to further ensure the safety of the appliance.
For this inspection we examine the accessible internal and external components of the chimney and appliance or chimney connection. This thorough examination includes checking the firebox, smoke chamber, damper, chimney cap, and chimney crown. The structural elements of the chimney will also be examined and the system will be checked for any blockages or combustible buildup.
Level 2 Chimney Inspection
The Level 2 chimney inspection is primarily for instances when any changes have been done to the chimney system. This includes changes of the fuel type, chimney relining, and/or a replaced furnace or appliance. This inspection may also be used if the home recently changed owners, so that the new homeowners can verify the system’s performance, or if there was a recent chimney fire.
At this level, the inspection includes all of the components of a Level 1 inspection, with an added video element. A color video inspection is used to get a look at the internal surfaces and joints within the chimney. This inspection gives us a comprehensive look at all internal and external components of the chimney. A written report is then presented to you detailing any points of concern found during the inspection.
Level 3 Chimney Inspection (Idaho Stove Works does not perform this inspection)
As with the level 2 inspection, all components of the previous inspections are included in the Level 3 inspection. The Level 3 inspection is more intrusive then the other levels. For this inspection, parts of the chimney hidden from view may need to be removed and examined for defects. To get to these parts of the chimney, we may need to remove bricks, metal flue pipes, masonry, chimney crowns, chimney caps, interior chimney walls, or any other parts of the chimney system. A Level 3 inspection is only necessary when one of the previous inspections reveals a serious problem, and the only way to access the area is to open up the chimney. These inspections are extremely rare and are only necessary in about 2% of all inspections.
Many insurance companies today are requesting certified inspections before they will issue coverage on a solid-fuel burning appliance. Idaho Stove Works is certified to inspect your gas, wood, or pellet burning appliance and supply you with documentation. Our inspections state whether or not appliance/fireplace meets: NFPA 211 Standards for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliance code; International Residential, International Fuel Gas, & International Mechanical Code; Idaho Division of Building Safety requirements; and individual manufacturer specifications.
For some, an annual inspection is a requirement based on what kind of activities go on inside the home. Certified Family Housing, Professional Child Care Facilities; Assisted Living Facilities; State Aided Housing; and many others require Certified Annual Inspections to maintain their certification. Idaho Stove Works is certified to inspect your gas, wood, or pellet burning appliance and supply you with documentation. Our inspections state whether or not appliance/fireplace meets: NFPA 211 Standards for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliance code; International Residential, International Fuel Gas, & International Mechanical Code; Idaho Division of Building Safety requirements; and individual manufacturer specifications.
The inspection of chimneys, flue & venting systems and hearth appliances are important services offered by Idaho Stove Works. Inspections come in several forms and not all inspections are the same.
So, whether it be needing certification, insurance company requests, buying or selling a home, weather or fire damage, or just piece of mind, Idaho Stove Works has the knowledge and experience to fit you into the right type of inspection for your circumstance.
When buying a new property, you want to be confident that your purchase is a wise one. Because there are so many other details that go into the purchase of a new home, many buyers forget about the fireplace and chimney. Or, they may assume that a standard home inspection includes a thorough inspection of the chimney and fireplace. Unfortunately, not all inspections are thorough or well-documented, and you may end up paying for problems with the fireplace or chimney on down the line. To protect yourself from costly repairs, rebuilds, or fire damage, it is a good idea to have Idaho Stove Works inspect the chimney system and fireplace of the home you are considering.
As the seller, having your property’s chimney and fireplace inspected can protect you from future claims and problems within the system by documenting the condition at the time of the sale. We have extensive experience with both NFPA211 Level 1 and Level 2 inspections and always provide detailed documentation of our findings.