Chimney Inspection

How long does a chimney inspection take?

Chimney inspections are done in person, and generally take about an hour. The first thing a typical inspector does is to look at the chimney from inside your home. They’ll want to see that it’s well-vented, too—the fireplace should be sealed up as tight as possible, so that you don’t have any drafts coming in around the damper.

The inspector will also pull out the flue and make sure there’s no creosote build-up, among other things. If they do find some build-up, they can clean it off at this point—you may even be able to watch them do it, if you want.

Chimney inspections are typically only around $100 or for free. This is a small price to pay for peace of mind, and even if you don’t need any repairs, it’s worth having your chimney inspected at least once per year. The inspector will look for anything that seems amiss, so you’ll want to be there to let them in and show them around. You may also want to ask your neighbors if they have a local, trustworthy contractor they’d recommend.

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Can a chimney inspector determine if your chimney needs repair?

When you hear the term “chimney inspector,” do you think of a guy in a tall hat who stands on your roof, looking up at your chimney, and pointing at it with a stick? If so, you’re not alone. That’s what you must have pictured before you learned differently. A chimney inspector is actually someone who can look up your chimney from the inside. He’ll crawl into your fireplace, go down the flue, and climb up to the top of the chimney to inspect it from within. The main reason to get inspected is so that you can find out if your chimney needs repair before there’s a problem. It just makes sense to make sure everything’s safe before you start a fire or otherwise put yourself or others at risk. You’ll also want to know if your fireplace insert works properly (if you have one) and whether it’s vented correctly or not. The good news is that inspections are normally included as part of a general home inspection, which you may already have done when you bought your house or moved into it.

Does the inspector need to see the roof and attic?

When you hire a chimney inspector, you’re hiring someone to tell you how safe your chimney is. Because the safety of your home takes priority over everything else, it’s important for the inspector to see all aspects of the home he or she is inspecting. This includes the roof and the attic—any space that may be affected by or could affect your chimney. It’s unlikely that the roof will have anything to do with your chimney, but if there is any deterioration in that area, it could cause complications with water damage to your home. An attic, on the other hand, could contain all sorts of things that could get in the way of your chimney and affect its safety. If your attic isn’t properly insulated, for example, there could be moisture buildup (which can lead to mold) that could eventually cause water damage in other parts of your house. If the insulation has poor ventilation, there might be too much moisture in general in that area, which can also lead to mold and mildew—and thus again to water damage. Even if there are no issues with humidity or condensation, an improperly ventilated attic can still harbor a lot of dust and allergens due to lack of air circulation.
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