What is the Difference Between Level 1, 2, and 3 Chimney Inspections?

The National Fire Protection Association is the nation’s governing body when it comes to standards set for chimney inspections. The NFPA outlines three levels of chimney inspection, depending on what circumstances are occurring that have triggered the inspection. In general, the greater the number level of inspection the more detailed the inspection will be. A Certified Chimney Sweep like Chicago’s best sweep, Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration Services should be able to handle each level.

What is a Level 1 Chimney Inspection?

Level 1 Chimney Inspection is the very minimum requirement for any appliance or venting system, and is the most common inspection. If you plan to use your appliance or venting system (chimney) the way you always have and under the some conditions, a Level 1 inspection will be sufficient.

With a Level 1 inspection, you’ll receive an inspection of all the readily available portions of the interior and exterior of your chimney or venting system. A certified technician will ensure basic soundness of the structure and flue, along with basic appliance connections.  The technician also will ensure the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits. If not, a cleaning will be in order to ensure continued safe usage.

What is a Level 2 Chimney Inspection?

A Level 2 chimney inspection is a bit more complex and is required when:

  • Buying or selling a home or business with a fireplace
  • The chimney survived weather damage or a fire
  • You want to use the chimney for extended periods

A Level 2 Chimney Inspection conducted by a Certified Chimney Sweep is a little more detailed than a Level 1. A visual inspection of the inside parts of the fireplace and chimney is required. The Chimney Safety Institute of America, of which we are longtime members, and the NFPA work hand-in-hand on fire safety, so if your Home Owners Association or real estate buyer is asking for a NFPA Level II Venting Inspection or NFPA 211, you can be sure a Certified Chimney Sweep knows how to perform this inspection.

The NFPA Level 2 Venting Inspection includes the design, installation, maintenance, and inspection of chimneys, fireplaces, and venting systems in all residential, commercial or industrial buildings.

What is a Level 3 Chimney Inspection?

A Level 3 Chimney Inspection is usually required when the construction of  the chimney is necessary for the continued or renewed use of the chimney due to potentially unseen defects. The Level 3 inspection could include opening or removing an interior wall to access hidden parts of the chimney. This level of inspection normally occurs when a more serious problem has been identified and a method of repair needs to be determined.

A Certified Chimney Sweep should be able to identify all three Levels of Inspection with ease. If you ask, and a chimney sweep scratches their head, or can’t offer a clear explanation for the type you may need, it’s time to pick up the phone and call the country’s longest continually certified team at Valley Chimney Sweep and Restoration Services.

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“It is not often that I can speak highly about customer service experience, but I'm more than happy to write this review. I highly recommend Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration. They restored my chimney that was crumbling after a different company 'fixed' it - and did an amazing job. Great service from start to finish with a 10 year masonry warranty. Thanks guys!”

‐ Sharon R.

Naperville, IL

8940 D Route 34
Yorkville, IL 60560

(630) 553-5995


Service over 40,000 clients across the western suburbs of Chicago