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Chimney Inspections—What Happens in the 3 Levels?

Post by : dminCMC


Fireplace burning with old masonry in the back

As an owner of a fireplace and chimney, you’ve probably wondered what the 3 levels of chimney inspections entail and whether you need to avail all of them.

Here’s a quick guide to help you understand what each one entails:

Level 1 Chimney Inspections

Worn out chimney with structural issues

A Level 1 chimney inspection is the basic maintenance requirement for all chimneys.

The chimney technician your hire to carry it out will inspect all the interior and exterior components of the chimney in question. This includes assessing the structure and flue lining of the chimney.

They’ll also look out for visible signs of wear and tear, the accumulation of flammable deposits that can be fire hazards, and the clogging of vents that prevent dangerous gases from flowing out.

If they notice any obstruction, they’ll recommend chimney cleaning by a professional chimney sweep.

Level 2 Chimney Inspection

Levels chimney inspections are slightly more complicated than Level 1 inspections. They are required when:

  • You’re buying or selling a residential or commercial that has a fireplace
  • Your chimney has incurred fire- or weather-related damage
  • You want to use the chimney for long durations.

Level 2 chimney inspections involve a visual evaluation of all interior components of both the chimney and fireplace.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) work alongside each other to ensure the safety of residents.

In some areas of Connecticut, the Home Owners Association has made an NFPA Level 2 Venting Inspection (NFPA 211) mandatory, in which case you will need to hire a chimney sweep who can perform the inspection accordingly.

The NFPA Level 2 Venting Inspection is incredibly detailed and extensive. It includes examining the installation of the fireplace and chimney, design and maintenance of the fireplace, the chimney, and venting systems.

This type of inspection can be carried out on all kinds of buildings (industrial, commercial and residential).

Level 3 Chimney Inspection

Level 3 chimney inspections are needed when the chimney technicians suspect underlying defects that are preventing the chimney from functioning correctly. These are also a requirement when a chimney needs to be reconstructed before being used.

To carry out a Level 3 chimney inspection, the technician will have to open or completely remove the interior wall so they can get a closer look at the internal components of the chimney that are concealed.

These kinds of inspections usually are necessary when the chimney technicians believe there are major issues in the chimney.

Certified chimney sweeps will be able to carry out all levels of chimney inspections and provide detailed reports.


Creative Masonry & Chimney offers reliable fireplace and chimney services in West Hartford, Farmington, Burlington, Bloomfield, Bristol, Simsbury, CT, and nearby areas.

We have a team of chimney sweeps and contractors that provide chimney inspections of all levels in Connecticut. Contact us to get a free estimate.