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Annual Inspections

The best way to keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently is by having regular maintenance performed. Chimney inspections are one way to keep your fireplace system in good condition; inspections are a useful tool in identifying the causes of ongoing chimney problems or to spot minor areas of damage or deterioration.

Annual Inspections - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of Michigan

What are chimney inspections?

Chimney inspections are done by certified chimney sweeps in order to evaluate the safety and stability of your fireplace and chimney system. Chimney inspections are an important diagnostic tool and can be used to uncover the root cause of chimney issues such as leaks or drafting problems. Likewise, chimney inspections can also ensure that your entire chimney system from the top of the flue to the bottom of the firebox is in good working condition.

The National Fire Protection Association and the Chimney Safety Institute of America both recommend that all homes have their chimneys inspected at least once per year – regardless of how often your fireplace is used. Because chimney damage is often independent of fireplace use, it is important to have an annual inspection whether you use your chimney once or 100 times per year.

Why chimney inspections are important

“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

Chimney inspections can help homeowners discover areas of damage long before they begin causing chimney problems. When caught and repaired quickly, many chimney repairs can be made quickly and with minimal expense. It is only when chimney damage continues to deteriorate that major repairs – and major costs – are needed.

Chimney inspections are more than just preventative maintenance; they are often the most important tool to help discover the root cause of a chimney problem. In the case of chimney leaks, for example, repairing the water damage will have to be done over and over again unless the root of the leak is found. An inspection can identify the cause of the leak and allow it to be repaired, preventing further damage.

The three levels of chimney inspection

There are three different levels of chimney inspection. Your certified chimney sweep can help you determine what level of chimney inspection is best for your home.

  • Level 1: Level 1 chimney inspections provide a comprehensive evaluation of the accessible portions of the interior and exterior of the chimney. Level 1 inspections are recommended for homes where no changes have been made to the chimney system and there are no ongoing issues.
  •  Level 2: Level 2 chimney inspections are more in-depth and often use technology such as closed circuit cameras; this allows chimney technicians to better assess the condition of hard to reach areas of the chimney. Level 2 inspections are done when a change has been made to the fireplace system, such as installing a new insert, or before a home is sold.
  •  Level 3: Level 3 chimney inspections are in-depth and invasive; sections of the walls of your home or masonry of the chimney may need to be removed in order to access the chimney or fireplace. Because of this, Level 3 inspections are only used in the event of major natural disasters such as chimney fires when the structural stability of the chimney is in question.

    Don’t delay – contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your annual chimney inspection!

Have the Chimney Inspected Before You Buy or Sell a Home

Real Estate Chimney Inspections Before Bying or Selling a Home - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganThe process of buying or selling a home can be stressful. Between finding a real estate agent, going to showings, hosting open houses, packing, keeping the house clean, and working with banks and lenders, most homeowners often find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of things that need to be done.

One important step in the buying and selling process for any home is having a chimney inspection. While they should be done annually, chimney inspections are an excellent way for sellers as well as prospective buyers to have a better understanding of the condition of the home’s chimney and fireplace.

Chimney inspections for sellers

Fireplaces are a classic feature that many buyers want to have in their new homes. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, 40% of home buyers said they would pay extra for a home that had at least one fireplace. Because of this, having a well maintained and working fireplace can add value to your home and help set it apart from similar listings.

Before you put your home on the market, consider having your chimney swept and inspected. In addition to getting your fireplace system in tip-top shape, a chimney inspection can also let you know of any damage or potential hazards to the chimney. If any problems are identified they can be fixed as soon as possible. Repairing the chimney not only makes buyers feel more comfortable purchasing the home, but also helps prevent the occurrence of any unwelcome “surprises” during the home inspection.

Having a recent report by a certified chimney sweep as to the condition of the chimney is an excellent way to help prospective buyers feel more comfortable about the state of the fireplace system. Likewise, if your chimney has been damaged in any way while you have owned the home (such as a chimney fire, earthquake, or other natural disaster) a chimney inspection may be a requirement. Level 2 chimney inspections, which include an inspection of the interior and exterior fireplace and chimney as well as the use of close circuit cameras, are required before the sale or transfer of a property in the case of chimney damage.

Chimney inspections for Buyers

As a buyer, finding the perfect home for you and your family can be difficult. Even if you think you’ve found “the one,” underlying issues can still cause the sale to fall through. Because of this, many buyers choose to have a chimney inspection in addition to the regular home inspection.

Even if the sellers are providing a report from a chimney sweep, you may want to hire your own company to inspect the chimney independently. This way, you can be assured of the validity of the original report as well as choosing the professionals who do the inspection. In addition, having two sets of eyes inspect a chimney may uncover issues that were not previously seen, especially if the house has been on the market for a long period of time. Issues uncovered in the chimney inspection can then be addressed before the sale is finalized.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it is important to have your chimney inspected. Contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan [] today to schedule your chimney inspection.

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