The CSIA Recommends Annual Chimney Inspections to Ensure Higher Levels of Safety, Efficiency & Satisfaction

There’s a lot to be gained from owning a fireplace. On top of providing endless nights of cozy comfort, they’re known for improving the aesthetic of your home, helping you save on energy bills when used appropriately, and even upping the overall value of your home.

That being said, these things are only accomplished when the system is regularly maintained. In fact, failing to invest in annual inspections can result in lower efficiency and extensive chimney damage. And when it comes time to sell your home, damage due to neglect can actually hurt your final price point.

So much can happen to your chimney over the years, and if you don’t catch damage early on, the end costs could be significant. So even if you don’t use your chimney, annual inspections should be a part of your annual home maintenance plan.

When Should I Schedule an Inspection?

So, it’s clear that getting an annual inspection on the books is a must, but when should these be completed? Well, we suggest our customers schedule inspections during times of the year when they are least likely to be using their fireplace. This typically means getting the job completed around late spring or early summer.

Why so early?

By scheduling an inspection well before the start of your burning season, you’re guaranteed ample time to have any concerns addressed before our schedule books fill up in the fall and winter. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get a quick and convenient appointment, and you may find yourself forced to delay those much-anticipated evenings by the fire.

Trust us — when cooler weather approaches, this is one job you’ll want to have already taken care of! Scheduling earlier is simply easier on your schedule, and it ensures you have a working fireplace for the holidays, too.

Schedule early to eliminate stress and hassle. All it takes is a quick call to our team!

 Chimney Sweeping and three levels of Inspections. Man on the roof inspecting chimney beautiful fall trees and sky-Brickliners Windham Maine

What Are the Three Levels of Inspections & When Are They Needed?

Did you know there are three levels of chimney inspections? We know, that’s not exciting. But it is important that you know the difference and when each is needed.

Level 1 inspections are pretty basic, and these are all that are needed if you regularly invest in care. Per CSIA guidelines, we’ll take a look at all readily accessible areas of the chimney, check for any build-up or possible damages, and assess whether or not any further services will be required.

Then, there are the level 2 inspections. These are required under the following circumstances:

  • When buying or selling a home. This ensures all of your bases are covered and that no surprises come up after the sale has been completed. Keep in mind that home inspectors are only required to do the most basic overview and they don’t have near the knowledge that a qualified sweep would have in terms of what your chimney may or may not need. It’s always important to get a level 2 inspection done before any final signatures.
  • After a natural disaster. If you’ve recently experienced a tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake, or even extremely heavy winds, scheduling a level 2 inspection is important. A lot of damage after events such as these are obvious, but there are still many things that could be hidden. Getting an in-depth look is the only way to really know where you stand.
  • Upon the completion of reconstruction or renovation work to the fireplace or chimney. Have you recently switched fuel types? Have you had your system renovated since your last inspection? Has the size or shape of your flue been adjusted? Have you added or replaced any chimney components? Then, it’s best to schedule a level 2 inspection before kicking off a new burning season.
  • After a chimney fire has occurred. Chimney fires are extremely damaging to your structure, so it’s vital that you have things thoroughly looked over after one has occurred to ensure every nook and cranny is properly repaired. Even minor issues can eventually lead to dangerous scenarios (like another chimney fire), so you’ll want to be certain every issue is addressed.

So, what does a level 2 inspection entail?

Well, you can expect us to do everything we would in a level 1 inspection, along with a video inspection, which involves sending a camera all the way up your flue to get an up close and personal look at it all. No demo work is required, and we won’t have to take anything apart either. All you need to do is call us in, and our qualified technicians will take care of the rest!

Level 3 inspections — which require the removal (or sometimes the deconstruction) of various chimney parts — are rare, and we will only complete them when absolutely necessary. They’re only warranted when chimney hazards are not accessible by any other route.

Have questions? Concerns? Just want to get your inspection booked? Get in touch with Brickliners Custom Masonry & Chimney Services today. We’re Windham’s trusted source for reliable, prompt, professional chimney care. Call 207-302-0018 or click here and we’ll get your inspection on the books ASAP.


Annual chimney sweeping will go a long way toward keeping your chimney system in tip-top shape. Just ask one of our crew members about other chimney and repair services that we offer.