Tri-State Chimney Inspections
Fire safety experts advise homeowners to schedule a chimney inspection each year, no matter how often or infrequently the fireplace or stove has been used in winter. Chimneys are vulnerable to deficiencies resulting from chimney fires, excess creosote, harsh weather, the passage of time, and, most of all, moisture. Chimney inspections are crucial because problems aren’t usually obvious until they become extreme. Ensuring that your fireplace and chimney can operate properly and is free of obstructions is a safety issue for your home and family.
Lack of chimney maintenance is one of the leading causes of dangerous home fires every year. A common scenario is that homeowners light a fire in their fireplace, though they are unaware of the condition of the chimney. Then, it turns out there was an obstruction in the chimney, such as excess creosote, an animal’s nest, or debris from a storm. Fires that start in a fireplace or chimney are especially devastating because of the intense heat involved, and blazes spread quickly.
In addition to helping families in the tri-state area stay safe, our chimney experts at Dubuque Fireplace & Patio are happy to help families cut the cost of chimney repairs. With an annual chimney inspection, any problems developing in the fireplace or chimney can be caught early. Extensive damage is usually prevented, making chimney repair costs far more affordable than they might be otherwise.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has established three levels of chimney inspections. When our chimney technicians provide chimney inspections in SW Wisconsin, NE Iowa, and NW Illinois, the NFPA guidelines are followed. Details about the three levels follow:
Level 1 Inspection
During a Level 1 chimney inspection, readily accessible interior and exterior parts of the chimney and chimney connection are examined. The components checked include the firebox, chimney cap, smoke chamber, damper, masonry, chimney crown, chimney exterior, mortar joints, and stovepipe, as well as any known defects in the chimney flue or chimney structure.
In addition, the chimney technician determines whether there are any obstructions or excess combustible deposits in the flue.
Level 2 Inspection
A Level 2 chimney inspection is needed when one or more of the following circumstances apply:
- There has recently been a chimney fire.
- You purchased your home recently, and you are unaware of the condition of the chimney.
- You are preparing to make changes to your heating system or chimney.
Besides covering everything involved in Level 1, when a chimney technician conducts a Level 2 chimney inspection, it includes an in-depth look at all components of the heating appliance and the entire chimney system. A specialized video camera is used to closely inspect the chimney flue from top to bottom.
Level 3 Inspection
If a Level 1 or 2 chimney inspection reveals that immediate action is needed for a serious issue, a rare Level 3 chimney inspection is done. Oftentimes, various components of the chimney system must be removed, such as masonry, metal flue pipes, or interior chimney walls.
The chimney technicians at Dubuque Fireplace & Patio are expertly trained and certified. They are able to identify safety hazards, chimney liner damage, code violations, and signs of repairs that will likely be needed in the near future. Issues discovered during a chimney inspection are written up on a report and given to the homeowner. Our chimney experts are also glad to answer questions about recommended chimney repairs.
Contact us at Dubuque Fireplace & Patio for chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney repairs, or help choosing a pre-fabricated fireplace or stove for your home in the tri-state area. Call today at (563) 582-5156 or visit the region’s premier hearth products shop west of Kennedy Mall at 925 Century Drive in Dubuque, Iowa.