Chimney sweeps begin with inspections. Our flat rate inspection service is considered LEVEL 2.

Chimney Inspection Levels

Level 1 Inspection

Level 1 inspection applies to all readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior and accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection. It generally involves disconnecting the appliance from the chimney, and using a light to look up into the flue. This is to determine the overall cleanliness of the venting system, that the system is not blocked, is capable of continued use as is, and will not cause damage to other portions of your home. If the chimney is dirty it will require sweeping. 

Level 2 inspection

Level 2 inspections are a bit more thorough. The same effort outlined in the level 1 inspection applies here with the addition of getting onto the roof to more completely inspect the entire chimney system. Top to bottom, inside and out.

A video scan of the interior of the flue will be necessary if the technician is unable to get a clear view of the entire structure.

Level 3 inspection

A level 3 inspection is rare. Some flues have bends or offsets in them and while these bends don't typically obstruct the technician’s view of the flue liner, they may recommend a level 3 inspection especially if they’re concerned about the safety of the fireplace. They may need to remove components of the wall, building, or chimney in order to complete a thorough level 3 inspection. This usually includes a video scan once access has been achieved.

Furnace Flues

Even if you do not have a fireplace it is likely that your furnace and/or water heater vent through a chimney. Your gas furnace and water heater flues serve to vent harmful gases such as carbon monoxide from your home. It is important to have your gas furnace and/or water heater flues and pipes inspected.

Chimney Scan

Chimney sweeps use video equipment lowered into your chimney flue to gain a closer look at the flue conditions. Some sweeps do this as a matter or course. Chimney scans usually cost more than a visual inspection. We will scan your chimney flue if it has an offset or other condition that makes it difficult to complete the visual inspection.

Purpose of a Chimney Cleaning

Over time, there is a build up in your chimney flue of residue caused by the combustion process in your fireplace. In other cases, organic debris or pieces of the chimney structure may build up in the flue as well.

Gas appliances, such as your furnace or water heater, do not build up creosote or soot. However, due to variations in installation methods or age, your furnace/water heater flue may have a build-up of organic or chimney debris.

A chimney sweep removes this build-up and/or debris for 3 key reasons:

  • Removing soot and/or creosote deposits allows the technician a clearer view of the flue.
  • Creosote is highly combustible and thick deposits can pose a fire hazard.
  • Build up of debris can affect the performance of your appliance. 
Creosote: A type of carbon rich chemical released during the burning of wood and other fossil fuels when there is a lack of adequate airflow. As the smoke rises through the chimney it cools, causing water, carbon, and volatiles to condense on the interior surfaces of the flue. This appears on the flue as a hard, dark, and shiny coating.
Flue: The flue is the inner chamber of your chimney which carries the combustion gases from your home.

Call or email us with questions or to schedule your Chimney Inspection.

During the inspection & sweep

Our technician will arrive at your home and begin their inspection inside. After introducing themselves, the technician will:

  • Locate the appliance being serviced, note any damage or dirt in the area and discuss that with you, along with any issues you may been experiencing with the unit.
  • A drop cloth is laid down and the technician will then access the appliance and do a visual inspection including: the firebox, damper, smoke chamber, baffle, connector to appliance, and as much flue as is visible from the bottom. At this point, the technician will be able to tell if the appliance needs to be swept. If a sweep is necessary, they will perform the sweep during the same appointment.
  • Our tech will then setup a ladder to access the chimney from the roof. Once at the top of the chimney, they will remove any caps, inspect the flue and chase, note and take photos of any damage. 
  • If a sweep is needed, a vacuum will be setup inside at the base of the appliance and turned on. The tech will select the appropriate brush head for your chimney and head back up to the roof.
  • The brush head connects to rods and are then pushed down into the chimney flue to remove soot, creosote buildup, and anything else stuck in the flue. The debris swept from the flue is continuously vacuumed up during the sweeping. Masonry fireplaces may be swept from inside.
  • Once the sweep process is complete, any remaining debris will be vacuumed up. After the debris has been cleaned up, the drop cloth is removed.
  • The tech will then create the inspection report. The report will note any damage, or other issues found with the system and will include recommendations for repair. The report will also include photos, especially those highlighting any damage or problem areas.
  • The technician will review the report with you, explaining their findings and addressing any questions you may have. After the appointment, you will be emailed a copy of the report.


  • How long does the chimney inspection and sweep take to complete?

    The average inspection and chimney sweep takes roughly 45 minutes to 1 and a half hours to complete.

  • Does my furnace also need to be cleaned? Do you clean oil furnaces?

    Like all other furnaces, oil furnaces need to be cleaned. While they do not produce creosote, there will be oil soot build-up that can affect the efficiency and safety of your oil-burning furnace. Please turn your furnace off 30 minutes prior to the start of your appointment.

  • How do I know if I need a level 2 or 3 inspection?

    Our technician will make that determination during your standard level 2 inspection. We carry our video camera on the van and will be able to “upgrade” your inspection as needed.

  • Can I light a fire before my appointment?

    Please do not light a fire 24 hours prior to your appointment. This will ensure that the fireplace and chimney are cool enough for the our technician to perform the inspection and sweep.

Call or email us with questions or to schedule your Chimney Inspection.