When Do You Need a Chimney Inspection?
There are two correct answers to the question when do you need a chimney inspection? First, you need to schedule a chimney inspection every year. Secondly, a chimney inspection is needed if you identify new evidence of damage. Below, learn why yearly inspections are needed and signs of chimney problems you can watch for.
Schedule an Annual Chimney Inspection
Leading experts in fire safety agree that chimney inspections are needed for all chimneys every year. Even when the heating appliance is never used, the chimney structure needs to be inspected. Moisture causes most chimney damage, though there are other threats from the harsh outdoor elements. The possibility that chimney damage will occur from one year to the next is great, no matter what type of fuel your fireplace uses.
Three Levels of Chimney Inspections
A Level 1 chimney inspection is the most affordable, and it involves a visual check of all accessible parts of the fireplace and chimney. A Level 2 chimney inspection encompasses all that is covered in Level 1 plus a special camera is used to closely examine the entirety of the chimney flue. A Level 3 chimney inspection can get quite expensive. It involves tearing down a part of the chimney to inspect an area suspected of being damaged.
Chimney inspections ensure that a chimney is clear of obstructions and in a good state of repair. A great advantage provided by inspections is that professional chimney sweeps have the knowledge to spot chimney damage in the earliest state of disrepair. When problems are addressed at their onset, costs of repair are typically much lower than they are when deterioration has continued to worsen over time.
Signs that a Chimney Inspection is Needed
Unfortunately, chimney damage is usually undetected by laypersons in its early stages. Depending on the type of problem that is going on, you may or may not notice that anything has gone wrong. The following are some examples of when to call chimney experts for a chimney inspection.
White staining or efflorescence provides proof that water has infiltrated the masonry. Efflorescence occurs when there is water-soluble salt in the masonry and water gets into the masonry system. The water mixes with the salts and works its way to the brick face. The salty mixture leaves white staining on the chimney.
If you see white stains on your chimney, contact a chimney sweep as soon as possible for an inspection. Some bricks undoubtedly need to be removed and replaced. The extent of the damage is ultimately determined by how quickly repairs are made.
The mortar on chimneys does not last as long as the masonry itself. About every 25 years at most, mortar expires and no longer does the job of keeping moisture out of the masonry system. Before moisture intrusion can happen, schedule tuckpointing. In simple terms, in a tuckpointing procedure, old mortar is scraped out and replaced with new mortar. Once completed, the entire chimney structure is renewed to like-new structural strength.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps
The chimney sweeps at Guardian Chimney Sweeps are Certified Chimney Professionals™. We offer all three levels of chimney inspections. When it is discovered that repairs are needed, we will provide evidence of damage and a quote for chimney repairs backed by a satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about how to spot chimney damage and to schedule a chimney inspection or chimney cleaning, give Guardian Chimney Sweeps a call today at one of the following numbers:
Toll-free: (888) 306-6069
Conroe: (936) 271-9781
Houston: (713) 401-2011