Who doesn’t love a cozy fire on a chilly evening? Being able to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a glowing fire is something that most people enjoy, especially here in the Midwest. But what happens if your chimney is unsafe to use? The better question is, how would you even know?

When it comes to checking your chimney, you want to leave this to the professionals here at Ozark Stove and Chimney. Our chimney technicians have the knowledge and tools needed to get the job done right. We get a lot of calls from customers wanting to do their own inspections, but this simply won’t guarantee all bases are covered.

Let’s dig into chimney systems – and how we check them to keep you and your family safe. Questions? Call or reach out to us online now.

How Does My Chimney System Work?

a gray chimney chase with a chimney capIn order to understand whether your chimney is safe or not, it helps to get the gist of how a chimney system works. Chimney systems are made of several parts. Each part plays a role in helping to move smoke and other unwanted byproducts out of your home when you have a fire. Your typical chimney system has a fire box, smoke chamber, chimney flue, damper assembly, and a chimney cap. 

A chimney system’s sole purpose and function is to keep you and your family safer while using your fireplace or stove. It ensures any smoke, harmful fumes, and other byproducts are exported safely up the flue and out of your home, so you can get all of the heat from your fires, just without any of the other bad stuff.

Unfortunately, if your chimney is clogged, broken down, or filled with creosote, it could become more of a hazard than anything else – cue the need for regular chimney inspections.

Are There Levels of Chimney Inspections?

Many of our customers are also surprised to learn that they should have their chimneys inspected and cleaned each year. These annual inspections and cleanings are the best way to make sure your chimney is safe to use. 

There are three different levels of inspections when it comes to chimneys. The level of inspection you’ll need depends on whether there have been changes to how your fireplace is normally used, if you’ve had any changes to fuel type, if there’s been change in ownership, or if a malfunction or damage has occurred. Here is a breakdown of the three levels:

  • Level 1 Inspection: This is your bare bones minimum requirement when it comes to having your chimney inspected. During this type of inspection, a chimney technician will inspect parts of your chimney system that are readily accessible on the interior and exterior. These are acceptable inspections if your system hasn’t changed at all and you plan to use it as you have previously. 
  • large masonry chimney with some brick damageLevel 2 Inspection: A level 2 inspection is required whenever you’re making changes to your system like fuel type, design, flue size, or anything similar. This is also the type of inspection that you need to have done any time a home with a chimney changes ownership. (Bet you didn’t know that your typical real estate inspection isn’t actually considered an appropriate chimney inspection, huh?) In addition, if your chimney has sustained any damage or if you’ve had a chimney fire, then you need this type of inspection done before you can use your system again. The difference between this level and level 1 is that special video equipment is used to help our technicians examine all components on the inside of the chimney, especially the flue liner and joints. A thorough inspection of the exterior is also done. 
  • Level 3 Inspection: With a level 3 inspection, you get everything that comes with a level 1 and 2, but this level involves removing necessary components like the chimney crown, or even a structural wall, so the technicians can access all areas that need to be inspected. Typically, this level of inspection is done when there are suspicions of serious hazards or damage somewhere in your chimney system. 

While the actual chimney inspection should be done by a professional, we do encourage all of our customers to visually inspect their fireplaces and chimneys every so often. This helps you to spot potential issues in between our annual inspections and cleanings. We always suggest calling us if you see any soot, staining, damaged masonry, or smoke coming back into your home. Those are all signs of a potential issue that should get handled right away.

Ready to Book Your Chimney Inspection? Call Us Today

No matter what your chimney needs are, Ozark Stove and Chimney is here to help. Give us a call today at 417-201-6585 or reach out to us online, so we can get you taken care of.