Company Blog

What Are The Three Levels Of Chimney Inspections?

What should you do before you light the first fire of the year? Make sure there are no hidden problems that could lead to dangerous safety hazards or expensive repairs! You may be able to see signs of exterior damage. This includes missing bricks and mortar joints. However, there could be damage on the interior of your chimney that you are unable to see. How do keep your chimney from being at a high risk for chimney fires or carbon monoxide leaks this winter? Have a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep take a close look at the condition of your chimney.

Three Levels Of Chimney Inspections - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons ChimneyFor over 25 years, All Seasons Chimney has been making sure the fireplaces and chimneys in the Hudson Valley. We are proud to provide all three levels of professional chimney inspection services, as well as other chimney maintenance tasks. All Seasons is often asked about the differences between these three levels that were established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). We would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about them to help you understand these levels of chimney inspections.

LEVEL ONE

When you schedule your annual chimney sweeping appointment with All Seasons Chimney, a Level 1 chimney inspection is included. The most basic of inspections, this level includes a visual check of the inside and outside of your chimney. We will make sure there are no flue blockages or liner damage.  These could lead to carbon monoxide leaks! In addition, we will inspect all the components that we can easily access without special equipment.

LEVEL TWO

Are you buying or selling a home with a chimney? If so, you will need a Level 2 inspection. A video scan of the interior of the entire chimney is included, which provides valuable evidence if any problems are found. In this level of inspection, we look at everything we would check out in a Level 1, as well as the accessible portions of other areas of the chimney. These include attics, crawlspaces, and basements. A Level 2 inspection is also needed when you make changes to your fireplace. Also, if your chimney has experienced a malfunction or external event like a chimney fire, earthquake, or lightning strike.

LEVEL THREE

The most thorough of the levels of chimney inspection is a Level 3 inspection. This will only be recommended by All Seasons Chimney if we suspect a serious problem. For example, one that requires the removal of components to be able to correct the issue. These components include the chimney crown and the interior chimney wall. If we feel a Level 3 inspection is necessary, we will give you both a written report and photo evidence to explain why we need to take a closer look.

Make sure your chimney will work safely and efficiently this winter. Contact us today at All Seasons Chimney to schedule your annual professional chimney inspection. You can trust our CSIA-certified technicians to give your chimney the appropriate level of inspection.

All About Seasoned Firewood

Cooler weather is starting to arrive in the Hudson Valley! That means it is time to make sure that your firewood supply is ready for winter. Did you realize that when you burn the right type of wood, you can increase the energy efficiency of your masonry fireplace? If you try to burn freshly cut wood, your chimney and fireplace will not work as well. This is because burning wet wood can cause problems, including smoke blowing back into your home. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and All Seasons Chimney recommend only burning firewood that has been properly seasoned, or dried. We would like to tell you more about seasoned firewood. In addition, why it is so important for you to burn this type of fuel this fireplace season!

Seasoned Firewood Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons ChimneyWhat exactly is seasoned firewood?

Wood contains about 40 percent water. Therefore, a fire that is built with freshly cut firewood wastes a lot of its energy burning off that moisture. The majority of the heat produced by this fire escapes out of the chimney. This can lead to you having to turn up the thermostat just to stay comfortable. Seasoned firewood has been allowed to dry for at least six months after being cut. Due to this, it allows this type of wood to provide more heat for less money!

How can I tell if the firewood has been properly seasoned when buying wood?

With dark ends and visible splits and cracks, seasoned firewood is much more lightweight than freshly cut (or green) wood. You can also tell by banging two pieces of wood together. If you hear a clunking sound, it is most likely seasoned. When you bang pieces of green wood together, you will hear a dull thudding sound. Do you really want to be sure the wood is seasoned? If so, you can buy a moisture meter for about $20 at your local hardware store. You will want to only buy wood with a moisture content of 20 to 25 percent.

How should I store seasoned firewood?

It is crucial that you store your seasoned firewood off the ground to keep it from absorbing moisture. Don’t have a storage shed? No worries! You can stack the wood on top of pallets, concrete blocks, or gravel. Cover the top of your wood stacks with a tarp, and make sure the sides are open to allow air to circulate freely. This helps to keep your seasoned firewood dry.

If you want warmer fires that last longer, you should only burn seasoned firewood. Contact us at All Seasons Chimney to find out more tips on how to increase the energy efficiency of your chimney and fireplace!