Your chimney may look fine from the outside. Inside, it could be a completely different story. With fuel and heating prices on the rise, many homeowners on Delmarva are changing to solid fuel burning appliances. Many lives and properties have been lost this heating season due to chimney fires and heat radiation. The key to minimizing fire damage claims is education and prevention. The Chimney Restoration Group uses state of the art technology to inspect and diagnose your chimney. This system allows you to see exactly what your flue is hiding. As mother always said “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” – so don’t assume your chimney is fine based on outward appearance, keep your family safe and have your chimney inspected. It’s a matter of common sense.
We all live in a world of high technology, equipment, and new products and services, which are offered on a daily basis. All of these things are designed or invented to supposedly make our lives easier and more efficient. Although, many of these things do make our lives easier, sometimes we become a bit lazy with things that require our personal attention. One of the things most people put off until the last minute are doctor visits, filing taxes, and yes, guess what else…having your chimney cleaned and inspected annually. This is a service now offered by most reputable chimney sweeps or chimney restoration companies.
The building industry is booming, as developments of new constructions are popping up and historic restorations being performed. Whether you are building, remodeling, or restoring, the basic functions of our homes are still the same as they were many years ago. Our homes are supposed to be a restful retreat outside of the hustle and bustle of the world around us. As homeowners, we are responsible to insure our family’s safety at the homestead. You could never sleep very well knowing faulty wiring was existing inside your walls, or a water pipe was leaking in the ceiling. These are both things, which can have terrible results if left unattended. Chimney and venting systems are no different. The importance of having annual cleanings and inspections of your chimney cannot be understated. This can be the difference between waking up to a sunny day or waking up to your home engulfed in a blaze, or possibly not waking at all. This may seem a harsh assumption, but the facts are facts, and these tragedies occur everyday.
If you have an appliance, whether it’s a fireplace, woodstove, coal stove, oil/gas furnace or anything that needs a chimney to vent the system – it should be checked at least annually. When looking for a company to check and inspect your chimney, make sure they are a NFI (National Fireplace Institute) Certified Technician. NFI Certified means the company is required to attend seminars, classes and hands on studies to hold the NFI “stamp of approval”. A cleaning and inspection done by a NFI Certified company would involve a thorough cleaning and inspection; any areas not accessible can be seen through a mechanical eye known as the “Chim-Scan”. This equipment is becoming standard in the industry, as most parts of a chimney structure are not easily accessible. This allows us to take a look inside and give a complete evaluation of the structure.
Once the inspection is complete, you can expect a document, which includes digital photos taken of the inside of the chimney, with any deficiencies noted in a full report. A fee usually is charged for this service, but it will make your life a little easier if you ever have a problem. Insurance companies are tightening the reins on homeowner claims, having documentation to prove a claim from a certified sweep will not only expedite your claim, but also save you many questions and interrogations by the adjuster. This also stops any chimney sweeps from attempting false claims just to make a few bucks. The CSIA has members which like myself are very interested in making the chimney industry better, and we all are working together to help homeowners and insurance companies understand the need for this type of documentation, while making the chimney industry conform to these standards.