What Technicians Look for During a Chimney Inspection

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other fire safety experts recommend annual chimney inspections. A yearly inspection is essential for ensuring that your chimney is not only structurally sound, but your fireplace is safe to operate. So, if it’s been more than a year since your last chimney inspection, schedule a service call with a certified chimney technician. We’ve included an overview of some of the important elements that technicians look for during a chimney inspection.

Chimney Inspection in Concord, NHWater Leaks

Water can be very destructive to the structural integrity of a chimney, so looking for signs of a leak is a top priority of chimney technicians. There are numerous sources where a water leak can occur, such as in gaps in the bricks or mortar joints, warped flashing, and cracks in the chimney crown, for example. Signs of a water leak include stains on the ceiling around the fireplace, rusting damper, and water damage to the firebox.

Flue Obstructions

While on the roof inspecting the chimney crown and flashing, the technician will also check the chimney cap and look for flue obstructions. Anything that interferes with the venting of smoke and fumes can be a health hazard. When a chimney cap is damaged or missing, small animals, pests, and debris can clog the flue causing dangerous carbon monoxide gas to flow back into your living space. It can also allow water to enter and damage the interior masonry and rust metal components.

Masonry Damage

During a chimney inspection, the technician will examine the masonry for spalling bricks and gaps in the mortar joints that often occurs during the winter freeze-thaw effect. The masonry is a porous surface, and tiny cracks in the bricks absorb moisture. When it freezes, the water turns to solid ice causing the cracks to widen and fill up with moisture again when it thaws. The repeated cycle can be very damaging to the brickwork. Severe masonry damage can cause the chimney to lean or even collapse.

Chimney Sweep in Amherst, NHExcessive Creosote

Chimney technicians will also look for excessive creosote deposits in the flue during a visual inspection. Creosote is a naturally occurring chemical by-product of combustion, and it gets progressively more dangerous as it continues to accumulate in the chimney. When it turns into a thick, tarry, and crusty substance, it is highly flammable. All it takes is a hot ember to ignite a fire, making it the number one cause of chimney fires.

Flue Liner Cracks

In addition to a visual inspection, a video scan of the flue is highly recommended. A damaged flue liner can reduce the heating efficiency of your fireplace and allow the high heat in the chimney to spread to nearby combustible materials. A video scan can spot hairline cracks and other defects in the flue liner that is more difficult to detect with the naked eye. It can also help prolong the life span of the flue liner, saving money from a premature replacement.

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)