A chimney inspection can detect problems with venting systems. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) triggers inspections of your home or commercial building chimney and venting systems when certain circumstances have occurred.
There are three levels of NFPA inspections, and they become progressively more detailed and intricate as the circumstances are more dire. Your Certified Chimney Sweep® conducts regular inspections, following the NFPA procedures.
If your appliance or venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system as you have in the past, a NFPA Level 1 is the minimum requirement. The NFPA and the CSIA both recommend a Level 1 inspection for a chimney under continued service, under the same conditions and with the continued use of the same appliance.
Your chimney inspection will include an examination of the readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection. The technician will look for basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue, as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits and recommend a cleaning if it is not.
NFPA Level 1 Chimney Inspection includes all parts that are readily accessible and visible without much effort. This is the most common type of inspection and is appropriate for most yearly inspections.
If you are:
Then you might require a NFPA Level 2 or possibly a Level 3 inspection.
When you hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®, you will have confidence that your chimney professional has been educated and certified on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) inspection. Your Certified Chimney Sweep® is trained to know the comprehensive requirements for the inspection, as well as the provisions for specific types of units.
Level 2 Chimney Inspection is a little more intensive than a Level 1. It requires a visual inspection of the inside portions of the fireplace and chimney. This type of inspection is usually required when there is a problem with the fireplace, chimney, major changes to the home or the sale of the home. The CSIA and the NFPA work together on fire safety, so if your HOA or real estate buyer is asking for a NFPA Level II Venting Inspection or NFPA 211, rest assured that a Certified Chimney Sweep® has been trained on the elements of this inspection as well.
The NFPA Level 2 Venting Inspection covers the design, installation, maintenance, and inspection of your chimneys, fireplaces, and venting systems within your residential, commercial or industrial occupied building.
Level 3 Chimney Inspection may be required when the construction of all or part of the chimney is deemed critical to the renewed or continued use of the chimney due to potential concealed defects, usually in the care of an incident. This may include cutting open or removing an interior wall to access the hidden portions of the chimney. This level of inspection is usually reserved for cases where a problem has been identified and a method of repair needs to be determined.
We have seen an increase in HOAs requiring a Level 3 inspection. Although we understand the risks that one fireplace can have on the attached other homes or condos, we think there is a better solution than putting holes in walls to confirm a sturdy chimney. If the HOA contracts one CSIA certified chimney company to inspect all the chimneys, the chimney company can then identify weaknesses in structure, original design, as well as wear and tear. They will recognize trends and be able to inspect all units in a much more cohesive manner.
Whatever the reason you have been asked to get a NFPA Venting Inspection, we can help. We know the NFPA inspection criteria and use it in practice every day. Give us a call, we can help!