Professional Chimney Inspection | Level 1, 2, and 3 Chimney & Fireplace Inspections
Certified Chimney Inspection
The CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps at Bethesda Chimney use specialized tools and advanced technology to provide comprehensive chimney inspections in Montgomery County MD, Washington DC, Northern VA, and surrounding communities throughout the Greater Washington DC area.
Why Chimney Inspections Are So Important
The primary function of your chimney is to expel the smoke and toxic gases from your home when using your wood fireplace or stove that keeps your family warm and comfortable on those chilly days. A chimney inspection is the only way to ensure that your chimney and fireplace are structurally sound and not a fire or safety risk. We have seen first-hand the extensive property damage a chimney fire can cause.
“You need to have your chimney inspected once a year. You need to have your chimney inspected before using it by a Certified Chimney Sweep®. Because if you have gaps or cracks inside the chimney, the fire could escape and become a house fire” ̶ Bryan Whitaker, Bethesda Chimney founder, and CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.
Annual Chimney Inspections Are Strongly Recommended By The NFPA
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 standard, all chimneys, vents, and attached heating appliances shall be inspected yearly. The inspection ensures the safe removal of gases and the proper construction and installation of solid and fossil-fueled heating appliances and venting systems. All chimney sweeps at Bethesda Chimney are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to perform NFPA Level 1, 2, and 3 chimney inspections.
Level I Chimney Inspection
This is the minimum visual inspection that a homeowner should have every year. At Bethesda Chimney, we use a specialized high-powered spot-light to visually examine all readily accessible portions of your chimney (inside and out) by an experienced chimney technician. A level 1 chimney inspection is necessary to determine if the basic structure is satisfactory with no visible signs of damage or danger.
Level II Chimney Inspection
A level 2 inspection (also known as a real estate inspection) is an advanced chimney inspection that we highly recommend for all homeowners. Bethesda Chimney will examine all portions of the chimney, including areas that can't always be seen in a basic level 1 inspection. For example, we may need to use a chimney camera to find small cracks or gaps. This includes but is not limited to the ash pit, the cleanout, the entire smoke chamber, and all sections of the flue.
Level III Chimney Inspection
This is the most comprehensive inspection, but it is also the least common due to lack of necessity. A level 3 inspection by Bethesda Chimney examines concealed areas of the chimney, such as underneath the mortar crown and behind the interior wall, to explore the original structure, including deconstructing entire sections, if necessary.
Chimney Inspections Vs. Home Inspections
When you plan to buy a home in Montgomery County, MD, or anywhere in the Washington DC area, don’t forget to schedule a Level 2 Chimney Inspection. While a home inspector will perform a cursory overview of the fireplace and chimney, they don't have the training, equipment, and certification to thoroughly examine the chimney. So, just because a home inspector looked at the chimney and fireplace, it doesn't mean it is safe to use.
You should have a CSIA Certified chimney sweep perform a chimney inspection before you buy the house. We provide potential homebuyers with a complete written report detailing any necessary repairs to eliminate structural or other hazards. Suppose you are purchasing an older home with a terra cotta flue liner. In that case, some counties require replacing it with a stainless-steel liner to bring it up to current building code requirements and safety standards.
We also have many customers in MD, DC, and northern Virginia that call us to schedule a pre-listing chimney inspection, so they can take care of any issues before their house goes on the market. It may even help sell your house faster, at a higher price.
Certified Chimney Inspections in Greater Washington DC
Bethesda Chimney’s CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps are highly skilled experts qualified to perform all three levels of inspection per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. Our professional teams serve residential, commercial, and government customers in the Washington DC Metro Area, including Potomac MD, Reston VA, Arlington VA, Chevy Chase MD, District of Columbia, and Gaithersburg, MD. Call 301-969-4444 or 703-935-4444 to schedule your chimney inspection today!