A fireplace inspection should be done before you buy a home and once each year after you move in. An inspection lets you know about problems that might make it unsafe to use your fireplace. A fireplace that is damaged or that has creosote buildup could start a fire and threaten the health or lives of people in your family. Here's some information about getting your fireplace inspected.
Get A Basic Inspection And Cleaning Every Autumn
Autumn is a good time to have a fireplace inspection since the fireplace can be checked and cleaned right before you'll start using it during cold weather. A basic inspection involves doing a visual inspection of the fireplace and chimney. The inspector may find nests or other blockages that need to be removed and that could be fire hazards. The creosote layer is also checked to see how thick it is and if it needs to be cleaned off.
A visual inspection also checks for cracks and other signs of damage that need to be repaired. If your chimney is in good shape, then all that may be necessary is sweeping out the chimney and fireplace to get it clean for another season of use. If damage is found, then repairs should be done for safety reasons before using your fireplace.
Have A Comprehensive Inspection Done When Needed
The comprehensive inspection is known as a level 2 fireplace inspection, and it's done before you buy a house and when problems are found during a routine inspection. You may also want this more comprehensive inspection done if your home suffered tornado or earthquake damage. In addition to a basic visual inspection of the fireplace and chimney, the inspector might use a video camera to get a close look at the interior walls of the fireplace. A video inspection can find cracks that might otherwise be overlooked.
This inspection might entail examining the chimney through all levels of your house, attic, and roof to look for signs of damage. A smoke test might be done to check for leaks. This type of fireplace inspection gives you peace of mind that the fireplace and chimney are in good shape and not a danger to your home or family.
If you've not used the fireplace in years, you may want to have the more comprehensive inspection done just to make sure the fireplace and chimney are operating properly and have no damaged areas. Whether you use your fireplace almost daily or rarely, it's always good to at least have a basic inspection done once each year.
For more information, contact a resource like Home Scope by Cornerstone.