At Fireplace Doctor, we preform a 21 Point Safety Inspection of your fireplace, chimney, wood burning stove, and dry vent exhaust to make sure everything looks good. During this process, our certified chimney technicians will give a report of how everything looks and any recommendations as to what needs to be repaired if any thing comes up. The inspections consist of both and exterior and interior of the chimney and fireplace.
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 access any visible damage or hazards. After consulting with the client, we will then, proceed to the next stage of the chimney inspection.
1. 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 proper draft.
2. 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.
3. We check the crown for cracks, and to make sure its shedding water correctly
4. The brickwork and mortar are inspected for cracks and damages. Cracks in the mortar are a common cause of water leaks.
5. We will check the flashing that seals the chimney to the roof if the chimney is connected to, or penetrates through, the roof.
6. The flue liner is checked for cracks, stability, and support.
7. The chimney is checked for moisture resistance.
8. 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.
9. Next is the damper, in a chimney flue, a damper closes off the flue to keep the weather (and birds and other animals) out and warm or cool air in. 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 wood poker, or sometimes by a lever or knob that sticks down or out. We will check to see if your damper is working properly.
10. Firebox/Grate, We check for rust or any popped rivets in the Firebox, and to make sure grate is in serviceable condition.
11. Ash Container- ashes should be stored in a sealed metal container.
12. 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.
13. Tools & Gloves
14. Refractories- these are the floor, back, and sides of your fireplace. The materials for refractories include; masonry units, ceramics, and metal plates.
15. Profile: is the joint between the firebox and the veneer into the living space.
The following, are not required for a level one inspection, but we add them to our inspection if we have cause for concern.
16. Attic clearances, though not always applicable we can check the clearances if necessary, and upon request.
17. Attic Insulation
18. 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.
19. Appliances, such as wood-stoves, pellet stoves, inserts, or freestanding stoves.
20. Check appliances vents, pipes, and clean outs for their condition.
21. Check any accessories, parts, and misc. components for damages or malfunctions.
Chimney Cleaning Process:
- Step One: Preliminary Examination
- Step Two: Inside Preparation
- Step Three: Flue Sweeping and Examination
- Step Four: Inside Sweeping
- Step Five: Final Examination and Level 1 Inspection
- Step Six: Customer Review