A wood-burning fireplace can be such an attractive feature in a home. Not only will it help keep you cozy and reduce your heating bill in the winter, it also serves as an aesthetically pleasing focal point in any living space. A fireplace adds value to a home, especially in climates like that of the midwest. However, if the chimney and fireplace were not constructed or maintained properly, you could find yourself with a dangerous money pit. If you’d rather see logs burning than cobwebs collecting, make sure you do your due diligence before purchasing a home with a fireplace. If you’re already passed that step, make it a priority to check on the well-being of this luxury amenity in the “off-season”, so you’ll be ready to go come fall.
Our partners at Clean Sweep 317 explained to us why their level 2 chimney inspection is so important to homeowners, and we’re going to share that knowledge with you here.
What is a level 2 chimney inspection?
Great question. Most of us know little to nothing about chimney inspections in general, let alone that there are different levels. A level 1 inspection is a maintenance-type inspection done with your regular chimney cleaning. This is a non-intrusive look at your chimney and fireplace to determine if there are any obvious dangers requiring swift attention. If you’ve had a higher level inspection in the past, everything looked good or was repaired, and you’ve properly maintained the system since… this should suffice for you. If not, read on.
As you probably assumed, a level 2 inspection is more deeply involved than a level 1. The same visual examination of a level 1 is included, plus a closer look at the chimney (inside & out), as well as inspection of other connected areas. A video recording system is used to scan for any damage or cracks to the flue lining or chimney joints. An inspector will also get on the roof, in the attic, and crawl space to further assess the health of the system. They are looking for signs of things like mold, woot rot, clearance issues, insulation put too close, electrical hazards, charred wood… the list goes on.. Is the importance of this sinking in yet? There is so much to consider!
Importance for home buyers
Let’s say you’re in the process of purchasing a new (to you) home with a chimney and fireplace. You hire a home inspector and he/she does a thorough job inspecting all the home’s systems including said fireplace. He/she opens the flue, shines a light up, and also checks out the chimney structure while on the roof. The inspector will take some photos and list potential defects or safety concerns on the final report. Typically, they will suggest further inspection from a certified chimney service company if they note anything at all. At this point, regardless of whether or not an inspector lists concerns, you should schedule a level 2 chimney inspection. If you are buying a home with a fireplace, have it inspected by a professional in the field.
Listen, this is part of a huge investment. The last thing you want after settling in is to find out the fireplace is not safe for use, and that it will seriously hurt your wallet to make it right. Be proactive. Know exactly what you are getting into. If everything passes with flying colors, great, you can rest easy. If not, you have the information necessary to either negotiate the deal further or make an informed decision on whether or not you can still afford this home.
If you’ve been in your home for years and have never had a thorough inspection of your chimney, it’s not too late. Especially consider this if you’re thinking about selling your home anytime soon. This will eliminate any possibility of surprises when it comes to your future buyer’s home inspection.
Cost & time
“So, what is this going to cost me?” Clean Sweep 317 charges $299 for their level 2 chimney inspection. This includes 1 fireplace + 1 appliance connection. There is a charge of $100 per additional chimney after that.
The full inspection typically takes 2-4 hours depending on the size of the system(s) and damage present. Following the inspection, a full report will be compiled and emailed to the client (a summary of findings + about 5 or so detail pages). This will tell you if the fireplace is suitable for use or not, and if not, what repairs are needed to make it so.
The bottom line is that this doesn’t need to be scary. We are here to make this process as easy as possible for you. If you have more questions about any of their chimney inspections or would like to schedule yours, please contact Clean Sweep 317 at (317) 643-1128 or visit www.cleansweep317.com.
This article was co-authored by F.C. Tucker Home Services & Clean Sweep 317
Clean Sweep 317 — 317-643-1128 — firstname.lastname@example.org