Level II chimney inspection

Doing a Level II chimney inspection for a fireplace next week looking for signs of potential moisture intrusion into a home. I will post the video on my website once it is all done so everyone can see it.

Go gettem Scott


Looking forward to watching it Scott.

You are doing it Scott?

Just curious, did you actually get chimney sweep training somewhere? What kind of investment was involved in the tools?

I have a local chimney sweep that I sub for this, and have thought about expanding my services to do them myself.

That’s nice, but has absolutely nothing to do with a Level II chimney inspection, nor residential.

My sewer line camera can be used for chimneys as well. I altered my chimney brushes so that the camera head and cable rests in the middle so the camera head stays centered in the flue. The loop on the end of the brush also allows me to bend the camera head at a 90 degree angel and wire tie it into position so that I can get close ups of the side walls of the flue. As I am sending down the brush and rods, I look at my monitor and any abnormalities I note the length I am into the chimeny. I can then pull back out and reposition he camera head to whatever angel I need.

Chimney brusches and poles are relatively cheap and can be purchased at Lowes for a cheap threaded end set. I also tie a rope to the end and send it down to the firebox first so that way if a section untreads, I can still pull the brush out without a problem.

You have to have a shop vac and plastic sheating to seal off the firebox and prevent soot from getting everywhere. Set-up can be time consuming, but the actual inspection takes no time at all.


Do you have specific training that allows you to do a level II chimney inspection?

Sounds like a great way to supplement your income.

Looking forward to the video!!

Grab a copy of the NFPA 211 Standard and read it cover to cover. The NACHI SOP is also pretty good for setting up a report template so that you don’t forget to check anything. I have a template set up in HomeGauge that really helps.

A Level II inspection isn’t much more than a Level I, but with the video scan of the flue and checking the rest of the chimney as it passes through the house. Knowing how to use a push camera takes very little practice to understand what you are looking at. You have to have a good camera though. If you doa search for videos online, there are a couple of chimney sweeps that have posted videos their Level II inspections to see what they look like. Some of the more fancy cameras have rotating heads so that the operator can look straight down and then control the head with a remote control to look at the side walls of the liner. Nice feature, but not an absolute necessity.

There really isn’t that much too the inspections. If you know how to read a tape measure to check clearances, spot cracks in fireboxes, and can learn to use an interperate a push camera, it is a good way to make a few extra bucks on an inspection. The tools are very simple, besides that camera. Most of them can be bought at Lowes. You don’t need a great set of brushes or rods like a professional sweep does, since you are not doing a full cleaning.

You should know a little bit about different fuel types and what kind of vent material is appropriate, that just comes with reading and doing research.

Tools are relatively cheap too. They sell chimney cameras as low as $500.00 for a really basic starter camera, but I would recommend spending a few more bucks to get a color sewer camera instead. You also have the forthought of setting up the inspection properly just in case a rod cmes unscrewed and you need to get the brush out. Preperation is the most time consuming thing because they can make a big mess if you are not careful.

If I had a video camera, I would like to set one up with microphone on an inspection some day so I could use the video for marketing and for educational purposes.

Scott did you perform the chimney inspection, I would like to see the video

Inspection was postponed until a later date. There were some access issues that prevented doing a top down inspection and a bottom up inspection was not gong to be possible. The contractor renovating the house is going to work on setting up scafolding to access the chimney since it needs some masonry work on the brickwork to fix some issues that were identified.