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A Home Inspector Is Not a Chimney Expert

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.

Choosing From Multiple Chimney Repair Estimates

When it comes time to hire a professional company to perform maintenance or repair tasks, it is always a good idea to get more than one estimate for the job so that you are getting the best service for the best price. However, you can end up with completely different scenarios, which can be confusing and frustrating. How can estimates for the same service differ so greatly? How do you know which estimate to choose? Unfortunately, chimney scams are not uncommon, and the best way to know you are getting an honest and fair estimate is to hire a chimney sweep who has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Atlas Chimney is proud to have CSIA-certified chimney sweeps on our staff who have pledged to conduct themselves fairly and honestly when working on chimneys and providing repair estimates. We would like to tell you some of the things you should be looking for that can help you choose the right chimney repair estimate.

Choosing From Multiple Chimney Repair Estimates Image - Austin TX - Atlas Chimney


According to the CSIA, sufficient documentation should always be provided to support an estimate. Often, a dishonest chimney sweep will tell a homeowner that he needs to repair hidden chimney damage without showing the homeowner what and where the damage is. When Atlas Chimney finds damage within your chimney, we will provide you with photographs and closed circuit video footage of this damage. We will also explain the problem to you, why it needs to be repaired, and how we will fix the problem.


When our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps inspect chimneys, we follow the guidelines that are established in the three levels of chimney inspection from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). We look for debris that could be blocking the chimney that could lead to a carbon monoxide leak into your home. We thoroughly examine the condition of the exterior bricks and mortar joints of the chimney to look for cracks and missing pieces that could allow water to penetrate the chimney. If we find damage that requires another level of inspection, we will go over with you the evidence that we found and explain to you what the next level of inspection involves.


In order to receive this professional status, chimney sweeps must sign the CSIA Code of Ethics. In this code, chimney sweeps pledge to treat customers honestly and fairly and to never use dishonest practices. CSIA certification is the industry standard, and certified chimney sweeps do not want to risk their certification being revoked. This is why you can trust a chimney repair estimate from a CSIA-certified chimney sweep.

Make sure your chimney and fireplace are ready for the winter. Contact us at Atlas Chimney today to schedule your annual chimney sweep and inspection from our CSIA-certified chimney technicians.

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