Do All Chimney Sweeps Accomplish the Same Thing?

If you enjoy the warmth and comfort of your fireplace, especially during the cold winter evenings in Nashville, TN, then you should have your chimney cleaned at least once every year. A botched chimney sweep in could mean a fire. Your Certified Chimney Sweep can check the fireplace flue and the furnace flue. That is a two for one, and then you are done – do not make this more complicated than it really is – it is not.

No matter how dry your firewood is, every log you burn in your fireplace leaves traces of tar and soot, and causes creosote (which is a fire hazard) to form. Properly sweeping your chimney will clean it so that the dryer vents can channel gases and smoke out of your house.  While you don’t need any technical skills to clean out creosote from a flue, it’s important that the job is completed thoroughly. Additionally, you have to make sure that all the other components of your venting system are inspected and cleaned.

Before you decide to get your chimneys cleaned by yourself, have you asked yourself whether “all chimney sweeps are alike? Or do all chimney sweeps in the Middle Tennessee area accomplish the same thing?”

This is a great question – but no, they differ depending on the needs of your chimney and venting appliances.

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), there are three ‘levels’ to chimney sweeps:

A Level 1 Inspection:

The minimum requirement when it comes to chimney inspections, this inspection involves the assessment of the immediately accessible components of the chimney or dryer vents – inside and out. Your Chimney Sweep will address the chimney for structural stability and the connecting components between the furnace to its flue, and the fireplace to its flue.

In addition to ensuring the soundness of the accessible components of the chimney, the Chimney Sweep should also be looking to address any creosote, blockages, or any other hazardous concerns prior to advising any burn to take place. Cleaning your chimney will help ensure continuous safe usage.

A Level 2 Inspection:

This inspection is a bit more complex. It’s necessary when any changes are made to the chimney system – we mean any changes – if you are not sure what may constitute as ‘any changes,’ give us a ring. This inspection level is also compulsory if:

  • You are selling or buying a house or business with a fireplace
  • You intend to use your fireplace for a long time
  • The chimney survived a fire or weather damage

As one may assume, the Level 2 Inspection is a more extensive inspection than that of a Level 1 Inspection, which includes a camera or video scan in addition to the visual inspection performed by the Chimney Sweep. A camera inspection allows your Chimney Sweep to survey and accurately address the flue-system and any related concerns which the homeowner (you) would need to know about prior to burning or continuing use.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), of which we have been members for a long time, works hand-in-hand with the NFPA on matters regarding fire safety. Therefore, if your real estate buyer or Homeowners Association request for an NFPA 211 or a Level II venting inspection, get in touch with us, and we will perform this inspection.

A Level 3 Inspection:

Without a doubt, it includes the execution of both a Level 1 & 2 inspections, but also requires the removal of components or obstructions which would inhibit the Chimney Sweep from accessing a concerning or problematic area of the chimney. Removal may include but is not limited to, a rain-cap, an interior wall, other drywall or even dampers. The Level 3 inspection would be performed because your certified Chimney Sweep has reason to believe that there is proper cause for concern.

A Certified Chimney Sweep in Nashville should be able to identify all the three levels easily. In case you ask your services chimney provider, and they scratch their head, or they fail to give a clear explanation for the particular level of inspection you need, then it may be the right time to call the leading certified team at Chimney & Masonry Outfitters. All of our Chimney Sweeps are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, and we are readily able to perform any level of sweep necessary, per the needs of your chimney and venting systems, or order to ensure the safety and functionality of those venting systems.

We believe that educating our homeowners, is empowering our homeowners – equipping them to make informed decisions about who they request for their chimney and masonry needs. Grow some peace of mind, and have your chimney/venting systems checked for safety and functionality. For more information about the NFPA levels of inspection, get in touch with a certified professional from Chimney & Masonry Outfitters today.