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Chris Jenks WIN Creve Coeur

Fireplace and Chimney Inspection

What is a Chimney Inspection?

Fireplaces and chimneys are prominent fixtures of a home but require routine monitoring due to a variety of problems. WIN Home Inspection's Fireplace and Chimney Inspection goes beyond what the home inspection evaluates in the fireplace and chimney. Using advanced tools, we can take a deeper look at the interior of the chimney flue.

Why is a Chimney Inspection required?

Fireplaces and chimneys are common fixtures of a home that can have detrimental or deadly consequences if not routinely inspected and cared for.

What is covered in a Chimney Inspection?

A variety of dangerous issues can occur with a home’s fireplace and chimney that a WIN Home Inspector will look for during their inspection. The inspector will also assess the exterior and visible aspects of the fireplace and chimney. Our ancillary chimney inspection uses a camera so the inspector can evaluate the condition of the less visible areas of the system, which can help spot issues such as:

  • Creosote build-up: Creosote is a tar-like substance that occurs during the breakdown of smoke. It can catch on fire if not removed.
  • Critter invasion: Nesting creatures can stack obstructions on top of your chimney, creating a risk for carbon monoxide.
  • Obstruction: Tree branches, leaves, bags, etc., can end up on or inside a chimney, creating issues.
  • Damaged damper: Dampers keep the heat in your home when a fireplace is not in service. It can be detrimental if the damper is rusted through, misaligned, or missing altogether.
  • Cracked brick, missing mortar, and misaligned liners: Can lead to instability or signify more significant issues.
  • Overgrown or nearby vegetation: Overgrown trees or vines can damage chimneys and create gaps in mortar joints visible only inside the flue.
  • Fireplace issues: Includes inserts installed without an inspection, rusted or damaged fireboxes and chimneys.

Different types of chimney inspections and costs 

Level 1  Chimney Inspection

This is a basic inspection to look over the areas of your chimney that are easily accessible, make sure the structure is sturdy, and ensure all parts are operating as they should. This level of inspection is typically used for annual maintenance and generally ranges from $75 to $200.

Level 2 Chimney Inspection

This inspection is more comprehensive, using equipment such as a camera to fully inspect the inside of your chimney. The inspector may also inspect your attic, crawl space, or basement. This level of inspection is typically recommended when any changes are made to your chimney, such as a change in fuel type or getting a new liner, or after any potentially damaging events like a fire or an earthquake. This level of inspection is required when you sell your home and the cost ranges from $100 to $500.

Level 3 Chimney Inspection

This inspection includes all covered or concealed areas of your chimney that can only be accessed with specialized tools. This service is only offered to chimneys that have sustained significant structural damage. To assess potential damage to other structural components of your home, this type of inspection may call for demolition. This level of inspection costs anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the chimney’s size and location.