If your fireplace brick panels look like this, it is time to change them.
According to the Chimney Institute of America, if you can place a dime into the cracks, it is time to replace them.
These specially designed refractory panels protect the firebox from heat damage, and they are designed to radiate heat back into your home.
So for the best comfort on those chilly nights, make sure to have these panels in good condition.
Have one of our chimney sweeps install new refractory panels. We can customize all sizes and get your fireplace looking great once again.
What to expect. Many condo and town home communities mandate fireplace chimney inspections either annually or bi annual, so here is what we do.
We will conduct a level 1 inspection, which is the most basic of all inspections. This inspection will determine the condition of the system and indicate the
Choice of Inspection: Level 1
A level 1 inspection is to be included with sweep job. We must determine that the system is not blocked and is capable of continued use as is. We are also expected to determine the overall cleanliness of the venting system. This will require opening the damper and using a light, look up the chimney and into the flue. If the chimney is dirty it will require sweeping. This level of inspection applies to all readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior and accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection.
Look at the Fireplace
Look for staining above the fireplace opening that would indicate that the fireplace has spilled smoke in the past. Also make note on the job sheet of damaged accessories such as burned out grates, screens or glass doors in poor condition. It is important to determine if the glass doors are those provided by the fireplace manufacturer.
We will confirm the dimensions of the outer hearth based on the manufacturers’ installation instructions. If the manufacturer does not provide this information the hearth should be sized relative to the fireplace opening according to the NFPA 211. Look for cracks between the outer hearth and the fireplace. If there is a crack, and the fireplace is installed on a combustible surface, determine if there is a hearth strip in place if you can without damaging anything.
Combustibles surrounding the fireplace
Manufacturers’ installation instructions will define whether combustible material can overlay the fireplace. It will also specify clearance requirements for the surrounding trim and mantle. These construction details may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Note any gaps above the firebox opening where smoke could potentially move behind the finished wall. If we see any gaps either above or to the side of the fireplace, we will note it on the job sheet.
Look in the Fireplace
We check the damper for closure. Does it move freely? Does it open enough to provide sufficient space for the smoke to flow freely through it? Does the area immediately above the damper appear to be fitted well? Many times a transition is required to mate the chimney to the top of the fireplace.
Once you have performed the initial inspection, begin the sweeping process. If the chimney is so dirty you cannot complete the inspection you will have to sweep it before you can fully evaluate the condition of the flue and liner.
If there are indications that there was a chimney fire, take pictures and document your findings before sweeping the flue and recommend a level 2 inspection at this time.
We will issue a written certification upon completion of our inspection for your records.
The National Chimney Sweep Guild and the National Fire Protection Association both recommend that homeowners call a professional chimney sweep for an annual chimney inspection. Only a qualified professional will be able to identify and resolve maintenance issues before potential carbon monoxide intrusion and chimney fire hazards risk your time, health or money.
Level 1,2 &3 inspection link for CSIA.