About Chiminey Cricket’s Inspections
Inspection Today, Protection tomorrow
An annual inspection is recommended so you can always know the condition of your fireplace and chimney. Chimney Cricket’s state-of-the-art inspection covers every aspect of your chimney from top to bottom. Our inspections are for everyone whether you’re buying a house, selling a house, planning renovations, or preparing to use your fireplace during the next burning season.
Your inspection starts inside your home with the technicians checking your facade, profile, refractory panels or firebrick sides, damper, smoke chamber, and smoke shelf. From your roof, the technicians will remove termination/masonry caps to make sure your pipe is connected or your terracotta has no damage. They’ll also check each side of your chimney chase, your crown, flashing, and chase cover.
So as you see, our technicians will inspect from the bottom of your fireplace to the top of your chimney leaving no part of the system unchecked.
Throughout the process, our technicians take photos so you can actually see the state of your system. In addition to the photos, you’ll receive a detailed condition report at the conclusion of your inspection explaining any vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.
Common issues found amongst chimneys are water leaks, missing or broken parts, and dirtiness. All of these issues pose safety problems for the home whether the fireplace is being used or not. Water leaks not only damage your chimney but also spread to other parts of the home and cause damage. Water will get into your attic, walls, and ceiling and mold will start to grow which is dangerous to the respiratory system of humans. If you try to use a wet fireplace the smoke from the fire will cool before it can escape the chimney and rush back into your home. Not only will your home smell bad but smoke inhalation can also induce breathing problems such as coughing and wheezing. If there are missing and broken parts on your chimney this will allow animals to enter your chimney, further water intrusion, and if you use your fireplace, a chimney fire. A dirty chimney will become a smelly chimney whether it’s being used or not. If it is being used it becomes a fire hazard because creosote is highly flammable.
As mentioned prior, an inspection will give you the opportunity to become aware of the condition of your fireplace and chimney. Chimney Crickets’ technicians will discover any weak points that will lead to safety issues or damage.
Call Chimney Cricket today so you can be sure that your chimney and fireplace aren’t in a condition that makes your home unsafe or likely to be faced with costly repairs.
We offer Inspection Levels 1, 2, & 3
Level 1 Inspections consist of only the readily accessible portions of the chimney and fireplace.
Level 2 Inspection consists of all portions accessible without damage to the structure. This may require special tools, and access to basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
Level 3 Inspections consist of all portions of the chimney and fireplace, including those that may require destructive action to the building around the chimney and fireplace. Level 3 inspections are usually done after a chimney fire, or during a major structural event, such as repairs or remodeling.
Our 21-point Inspection
The first step in our inspection starts as soon as we drive up. We will immediately take a look at the chimney and roof of the house we are inspecting. We assess any visible damage or obvious defections. After consulting with the client, we will then proceed to the next stage of the chimney inspection.
- We will check the height of the chimney, to make sure that it is the minimum proper distance from the roof penetration. This is necessary for a proper draft.
- We inspect the chimney cap or spark arrestor if one is present. Chimney caps are vital to keeping out the elements and small animals that would otherwise enter your chimney.
- We check the crown for cracks, and to make sure it’s shedding water correctly.
- The brickwork and mortar are inspected for cracks and damages. Cracks in the mortar are a common cause of water leaks.
- We will check the flashing that seals the chimney to the roof and if the chimney is connected to, or penetrates through, the roof.
- The flue liner is checked for cracks, stability, and support.
- The chimney is checked for moisture resistance.
- The smoke chamber/smoke shelf is first on our list of things to check inside the fireplace. Pre-fab fireplaces, may or may not have a smoke chamber.
- Next is the damper, in a chimney flue, a damper closes off the flue to keep the weather (birds and other animals) out and the conditioned air in the home. This is usually done in the summer, but also sometimes in the winter between uses. In some cases, the damper may also be partly closed to help control the rate of combustion. The damper may be accessible only by reaching up into the fireplace by hand or with a woodpecker, or sometimes by a level or knob that sticks down or out. We will check to see if your damper is working properly.
- Firebox/Grate, we check for rust or any popped rivets in the firebox, and to make sure the grate is in serviceable condition.
- Ash Container – ashes should be stored in a sealed metal container.
- Spark Screen/Doors – if your fireplace has a spark screen or glass doors, we check to make sure they are properly installed and functioning as they should.
- Tools and Gloves
- Refractories – these are the floor, back, and sides of your fireplace. The materials for refractories include masonry units, ceramics, and metal plates.
- Profile – is the mortar joint that connects the facade to the actual firebox.
The following are not required for a level 1 inspection, but we add them to our inspection if we have cause or concern.
- Attic clearances – though not always applicable we can check the clearances if necessary, and upon request.
- Attic Insulation
- Dryer Vent – Vent cleaning is one of the many services we offer, and if you think you might be due for a cleaning, we would be more than happy to take a look while we are already inspecting your chimney.
- Appliances – such as wood stoves, pellet stoves, inserts, or freestanding stoves.
- Check appliance vents, pipes, and cleanouts for their condition.
- Check any accessories, parts, and misc. Components for damages or malfunctions.
Have a Lasting Impression
We treat our clients like family, which means we wouldn’t want our family’s chimneys to look and/or smell bad. We will make sure you are 110% satisfied with your service! Everyone will be shocked by how good your chimney looks.