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A Home Inspector Is Not a Chimney Expert

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You believe that you have found the house of your dreams. You want to make an offer, but you will need to schedule a professional home inspection before the sale is final. This is necessary to ensure that all of the systems in the home are working properly and safely. Receiving a thumbs up from the inspector may lead you to think that you will not have to worry about taking care of repairs. However, Atlas Chimney would like to tell you why you should consider getting a second opinion. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified technicians have the experience and training to spot chimney damage and other problems. We would like to tell you more about the importance of a professional chimney inspection while buying a home.

Why do I need a professional chimney inspection in addition to a home inspection?

While the home inspector you hire will be able to tell you about foundation problems and electrical and plumbing issues, there are certain areas outside of his or her expertise, according to Trulia. Although your home inspector will most likely shine a flashlight up the chimney, he or she will not be closely examining the interior. A professional chimney technician will perform a Level 2 inspection. Level 2 inspections use a special video camera to closely examine every inch of the chimney. This not only ensures that possible problems will be found, but it also provides photographic evidence.

What does a Level 2 chimney inspection include?

Several decades ago, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed three different levels of professional chimney inspections. The most basic Level 1 inspection includes checking out the readily accessible parts of the chimney. This checks the soundness of the structure and makes sure the chimney is clear from obstructions. A Level 2 inspection involves a closer examination of the chimney and includes the attic, basement, and crawl space. Real estate transactions and changes to the system require Level 2 inspections. They are also required after a malfunction of the chimney such as a fire or an external event like an earthquake or tornado. A Level 3 inspection is necessary for further investigation to diagnose a possible hazard. This may involve the removal of a chimney wall or even the destruction of the entire structure.

Considering buying a home? Don’t forget to contact us at Atlas Chimney to schedule a professional chimney inspection to be sure the chimney will work safely and efficiently.