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High Performance Colorado Level 1 + 2 Chimney Inspections

High Performance Colorado Level 1 + 2 Chimney Inspections

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Enjoy the comforting warmth and glow of a fireplace – without the worries.

Taking responsibility and ensuring safety, especially when it comes to chimneys, becomes an imperative task. With the staggering statistics from the Chimney Safety Institute of America revealing approximately 18,000 fires annually due to wood-burning appliances, the significance of this responsibility cannot be overstated.

Building Supporters, recognizing the gravity of this issue, has made it a mission to prioritize and rigorously enforce chimney safety by offering specialized Level I and II chimney inspections. This is not just a service add-on; it’s a proactive measure against a prevalent and dangerous problem. The mandate by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for a Level 2 chimney inspection with every property sale or transfer is a testament to the seriousness of this potential hazard.

Both levels deep dive into the health of a chimney following National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 standards, coupled with a thorough examination of the chimney’s exterior. Level 2 inspections employ more advanced equipment with specialized inspection cameras to unravel hidden damages within the flue liner.



Level 1

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) explains a Level 1 inspection this way: If your appliance or your venting system has not changed and you plan to use your system as you have in the past, then a Level 1 inspection is a minimum requirement.

A Level 1 inspection is recommended for a chimney under continued service, under the same conditions, and with the continued use of the same appliance. ​In a Level 1 inspection, your chimney service technician should examine the readily accessible** portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible* portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. Your technician will be looking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections.

The technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.



Level 2

Level 2 chimney inspections bring forth an unparalleled depth of scrutiny crucial for identifying concealed, potentially hazardous issues within a chimney system. Standard level 1 inspections, predominantly visual, can fall short in uncovering subtle yet dangerous flaws such as minor cracks in the masonry or flue liner. These seemingly insignificant defects can have catastrophic consequences, allowing toxic carbon monoxide gas—a silent, invisible killer—to seep into living spaces, thus putting residents at grave risk.

The sophisticated technology deployed in Level 2 inspections, particularly the utilization of advanced chimney camera systems, is what sets this process apart. This equipment has the capability to detect even the slightest imperfections, many of which would remain unnoticed during a cursory level 1 inspection. By identifying these issues, necessary corrective measures can be undertaken promptly, effectively mitigating potential health and safety hazards.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) explains a Level 2 inspection this way: A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include a change in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency.

Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted. A Level 2 inspection is a more in-depth inspection than a Level 1 inspection. A Level 2 inspection includes everything in a Level 1 inspection, plus the accessible portions of the chimney exterior and interior including attics, crawl spaces and basements. It will address proper clearances from combustibles in accessible locations.

There are no specialty tools (i.e. demolition equipment) required to open doors, panels or coverings in performing a Level 2 inspection. A Level 2 inspection shall also include a visual inspection by video scanning or other means in order to examine the internal surfaces and joints of all flue liners incorporated within the chimney. No removal or destruction of permanently attached portions of the chimney or building structure or finish shall be required by a Level 2 inspection.

Chimney Inspection Benefits

Enhanced Safety and Fire Hazard Mitigation: High-performance Level I and Level II chimney inspections are quintessential for identifying and mitigating potential fire hazards, thereby assuring that the chimney is secure for usage. Specifically, these inspections are crucial for pinpointing and addressing the accumulation of soot and creosote, significantly diminishing the risk of chimney fires.

Given the National Fire Protection Association’s report highlighting that confined fires account for 13% of all home structure fires yet are responsible for a staggering 87% of residential building heating system-related fire deaths and 90% of injuries, with fireplaces or chimneys being a primary source in 30% of house fires in the United States, the importance of these inspections cannot be overstated.

Improve IAQ + Carbon Monoxide Protection: The proficiency of high-performance chimney inspections in detecting imperfections that could precipitate carbon monoxide leaks is invaluable, safeguarding against this invisible, odorless health hazard. Moreover, by ensuring proper venting of the chimney, these inspections significantly contribute to healthier indoor air quality.

This is particularly pertinent when considering pollutants emanating from fuel combustion, which can include hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), fine particle pollution, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, and creosote. Both wood-burning and gas fireplaces are potential sources of these varied airborne toxins as combustion by-products.

Improved Efficiency: Identifying and remedying blockages or buildup during chimney inspections can substantially enhance the chimney’s efficiency. This not only leads to improved heating performance but also to better fuel economy, ultimately contributing to a more energy-efficient and cost-effective home heating solution.

Early Detection of Issues such as Water Leaks: The value of early detection—a hallmark of both Level I and II chimney inspections—lies in pinpointing minor issues before they escalate into significant, costly repairs, thus safeguarding your investment while avoiding potential hassles. This preemptive approach is also pivotal in assessing the structural integrity of chimneys, especially in older homes, ensuring they remain safe and secure against potential structural problems.

Make/Control Necessary Repairs: For sellers, securing a professional chimney inspection before listing your house on the market provides ample time to undertake any requisite repairs. This not only minimizes potential deal-breakers and avoids negotiations that could devalue your property but also significantly enhances the appeal of your home to prospective buyers.

By demonstrating diligence in home maintenance and ensuring the chimney’s optimal functionality, homeowners can position their property as a more attractive, secure, and valuable prospect in the real estate market.


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