Do I Really Need an Annual Inspection?

When it comes to your chimney, the question is never if the chimney should inspected, it’s when should it be inspected? Chimney safety professionals and industry leaders recommend that a chimney be swept and inspected annually. The hard fact is that residential fires do happen, and when they do, there are often catastrophic results.

Also, many of our products require annual inspections to maintain the lifetime warranties.


There are three different levels of chimney safety inspections, all designed and created by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. We do a level 2 inspection on every chimney we inspect and sweep.

Level 1
This inspection encompasses all easily accessible areas. No tools will be used to gain access to the inspected areas. A level one inspection should be used only on chimneys that are not suspected to have any damage.

Level 2
A level two inspection is more extensive. Whenever a homeowner changes the home’s heating system, sells their home, or suspects some kind of malfunction or damage, a level two inspection should be performed. We will do a video scan of the chimney to look for any damage or deterioration.

Level 3
The level three inspection is the most thorough. We may need to gain access to hidden or hard to reach areas. This could include cutting drywall or making alterations. Before allowing us to perform a level three inspection, we should discuss this. We will be able to explain the reason for this inspection and how best to approach it, if it becomes necessary.

What Are We Looking For?

We will look for any damage, unwanted deposits, or buildup. All levels will include an inspection of the inside and outside of the chimney:

  • suitable lining material

  • loose or spalling bricks

  • parging of the smoke chamber

  • missing or deteriorated mortar

  • cracks in the flue tiles

  • cracks in the concrete crown

  • rusted chase covers

  • nests or creatures in the chimney

  • water intrusion

  • creosote or other hazardous build-up

  • structural soundness and functionality

What Then?
After the initial inspection, we will recommend a course of action, whether that’s necessary repairs, or the assurance you’re ready to enjoy a fire. If there are concerns with the functionality of your chimney, we will provide you with a quote and discuss with you options for the needed repairs.

We’ll get it inspected next year

If you choose to skip a chimney inspection or simply forget, you could run into all kinds of problems. These problems could cost you thousands of dollars in damages, or may result in injury or death. Residential fires are not something to be taken lightly, and an unchecked chimney is a common cause of house-fires.

Aside from a residential fire, a damaged or unchecked chimney can cause a homeowner to experience other kinds of unforeseen problems not caused by fires. Water intrusion may lead to problems including mold and structural damage. Weathering can deteriorate mortar joints and cause bricks to chip away. Any missing mortar or brick means your chimney is not functioning correctly. A damaged chimney could also affect your home’s ability to retain heat and become an excessive cost to maintain.

The structural and functional soundness of your chimney has numerous affects on the overall value and dependability of your home. Investing in your chimney is investing in the reliability of your home and the peace of mind it provides you and your family.