Closed Circuit Chimney Camera Inspections
The chimney sweep industry has come a long way since the days of Charles Dickens-style high hats and funny-looking brushes atop long sticks. At Jack Pixley Sweeps, you may find soot smeared across our cheeks, but you’ll also find some game-changing technology—a closed circuit camera, among other modern tools—in our bag of tricks.
Not only do our sweeps abide by safety recommendations put forth by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), but we also exceed these recommendations. The CSIA and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) both recommend that chimney sweeps perform a “Level 1” inspection of all fireplaces and chimney flues, with more in-depth inspections recommended according to various circumstances. In the Level 1 inspection, the technician is required to visually look up and down the chimney for any “noticeable” flaws within the chimney flue. When doing this, it is impossible to see if flue tile joints are still filled with mortar. It is also very hard to detect if the flue tiles have been cracked due to a chimney fire. We don’t believe that this is enough to ensure the safety of you, your family, and your home. That’s why we choose to include a closed circuit camera inspection with every clean we do.
Why Jack Pixley Sweeps Chimney Inspections Are Superior
Prior to the NFPA laying out its chimney inspection guidelines, chimney inspections were left largely to the discretion of the chimney service technician. That meant that you had no way of knowing if your chimney inspection or sweeping was of good quality. You just had to take your chimney sweep at his word. But as of January 2000, three levels of inspection were adopted as a standard so that no matter which chimney sweep company you hire, you’ll be getting essentially the same quality of sweep and inspection. That is not the case with Jack Pixley Sweeps. When one of our sweeps comes to inspect your chimney, you can be assured that you’re getting a far more thorough inspection than you would get with another company. Let us explain:
Chimney inspections are now clearly defined by the NFPA as Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. In Level 1 inspections, chimneys are given a mostly superficial once-over to check for any red flags. In Level 2 or Level 3 inspections, which are recommended following any changes in your chimney or venting system, it is specified that a Chim-Scan camera be used to take a better look at the inside of your chimney. However, at Jack Pixley Sweeps, we use a camera in all three levels of inspection.
The 3 Types Of Chimney Inspections, Explained
In this breakdown of the three levels of chimney inspections—as outlined by the NFPA—read about what you can expect from each level of inspection that Jack Pixley Sweeps provides.
Level 1 Inspections: The NFPA states that a Level 1 inspection is advisable if nothing about your appliance or venting system has changed and you plan to use it in the same way you always have. During this type of inspection, your chimney service technician will have a look at the “readily accessible” portions of the chimney exterior and interior—meaning the parts that are exposed or capable of being exposed without the use of tools to open or remove any part of your chimney or fireplace. The NFPA does not specify that a camera be used to examine your chimney in a Level 1 inspection; however, what sets Jack Pixley Sweeps apart from our competition is how thorough even our Level 1 inspection is. We use a Chim-Scan closed circuit camera in every inspection we do. Following a Level 1 inspection, you will be assured that your chimney structure and flue is of sound quality, that everything is installed and connected correctly, and that there are no obstructions or combustible deposits clogging your chimney.
Level 2 Inspections: More involved than a Level 1 chimney inspection, a Level 2 inspection is required when any changes have been made to your heating system or the way you use it. These changes may include fuel type, input rating, or efficiency. If the shape or material of your chimney flue has been changed, you will also want to seek out a Level 2 inspection. Likewise, if you have recently bought or sold a property, or experienced a building or chimney fire, you’ll want to have a Level 2 chimney inspection before using your chimney. This inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection, but also includes an inspection of attics, crawl spaces, and basements. Unlike a Level 3 inspection, a Level 2 inspection doesn’t require the use of demolition equipment to open doors, panels, or coverings. Like all levels of inspection provided by Jack Pixley Sweeps, we will use a Chim-Scan camera to inspect (in great detail) the areas of your chimney that we cannot see with the naked eye.
Level 3 Inspections: The most in-depth of all chimney inspections, a Level 3 inspection is advised when serious hazards are suspected. This inspection looks at the construction and condition of the concealed parts of your chimney and flue, and requires the removal or destruction of permanent portions of your chimney. We only remove components such as the chimney crown or the interior chimney wall when we have to to gain access to areas that need to be inspected.
To schedule a chimney inspection today, call Jack Pixley Sweeps, at 763-422-0481 or click here to schedule your appointment online.