Hire Us for Your Certified Chimney Inspections in Memphis, Nashville & Beyond

At Coopertown Services, the safety of our customers is our number one concern. That’s why a chimney inspection – or fireplace inspection – is one of the most important services we offer. When your chimney system is functioning properly, it’s protecting you and your home from the dangerous byproducts of combustion: poisonous gases, high heat, and flammable debris.

If your system isn’t functioning properly, though, these dangerous byproducts could damage your home or harm the people in it. The only way to truly know the state of your system is to have a proper, professional chimney inspection completed that follows the procedures set forth in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s 211 code.

For a thorough and in-depth chimney inspection in or near Memphis, we’re the team to hire. Call us now or reach out online to get scheduled.

Chimney Video Scanning for Memphis Homeowners: The Clearest Picture of a Chimney’s State

What makes us the go-to crew for so many in the Shelby County area?

Well, when Coopertown technicians need to get a close, clear look inside a chimney system, the best tool in our arsenal is our state-of-the-art chimney inspection cameras. These cameras are equipped with adjustable lights, stabilizers, and tilt and rotation capabilities, and they are hooked up to computerized equipment that captures incredibly detailed photos.

We push this camera along the length of the chimney to get a full and accurate view of the interior. Then, after the inspection is complete, the photos are examined and printed for you. We share our full report, so you can actually see the defects and issues that were found during the inspection.

This technology is particularly useful for homeowners who are communicating with realtors or insurance companies. With the written report and photographic documentation we provide you with, you’ll be able to offer clear evidence of the condition of the entire chimney before any final sales are made.

Various images taken from a chimney scan video camera system showing cracks in the flue tile video inspection

What’s the Difference Between a Fireplace Inspection & Chimney Inspection?

So, you want to get your annual chimney services booked, but you don’t know if you should be searching “fireplace inspection near me” or “chimney inspection near me” …which is it? Is there a difference between the two?

So, whether you hire us for a fireplace inspection or a chimney inspection, you’ll be getting the same service. I guess technically you could say they cover different components, but when you hire us, we’ll overlook your entire heating system…so, not to worry.

To sum up… There really isn’t a difference. Whether you book one or the other, you’ll be getting the same excellent and thorough services from our team of experts. 

All of our inspections aim to identify any safety hazards, such as the presence of combustible materials near the fireplace or chimney, as well as look for the presence of creosote, a byproduct of combustion, which can accumulate in the chimney and pose a fire hazard if not addressed. We’ll also ascertain whether or not you have any damages or missing components that need addressing.

The NFPA’s 3 Levels of Chimney Inspection

Coopertown Services follows the NFPA’s guidelines, performing three different levels of inspection. The NFPA developed these guidelines to make sure homeowners get the attention to detail that is needed for their circumstances and safety.

We’ll recommend the level that makes the most sense, given your chimney system’s individual circumstances. Here’s what to expect from each.

Technician performing the roof part of a chimney inspection chimney with rounded cap

Level 1
A level 1 chimney inspection is the most basic of the three and is recommended for chimneys that haven’t changed much over the last year (i.e. there’s been no damage, and you’re using the same appliance and the same fuel). This level of inspection is performed during routine chimney sweepings, and is part of the recommended annual maintenance for your system.

During a level 1 inspection, Coopertown Services technicians will examine accessible parts of your chimney interior and exterior, your appliance, and the chimney connections. We’ll check for obstructions and creosote deposits, make sure that the installation and connections are sound and correct, and gauge the overall soundness of the whole chimney structure and flue.

Level 2
If your system has changed (e.g. you’ve relined your flue, a new appliance has been added, or you’ve changed fuels), we’ll recommend a more in-depth level 2 inspection. This level is also required when a home is being bought or sold or if there’s been an event that likely caused damage (weather, earthquakes, fire, etc.).

With this inspection, the basic assessment of a level 1 inspection is performed, but we also video-scan the interior, check attics and basements/crawl spaces, and ensure the proper clearances of nearby combustible materials.

Coopertown recommends a Level 2 inspection on any chimney that we haven’t inspected before.

Level 3
If a previous inspection indicates that there may be a hazard in your system and a more thorough look would require special tools or access to concealed areas of your chimney or flue, we’ll recommend a level 3 chimney inspection.

This type of inspection includes everything in a Level 2 inspection, but also addresses the construction and condition of concealed portions of your system…and may require removal or destruction of parts of the chimney or surrounding building structure. For example, we may have to remove drywall, doors, the chimney crown, or other items to get a clear and complete look into the safety and functionality of your chimney.

No worries, though…these are far less common than the previous two!

If you need to schedule, get in touch with us today. You can call or request your appointment online anytime!

How Often Should I Get My Chimney Inspected?

The frequency of chimney inspections depends on various factors – like the type of fuel you use, how often you use your fireplace or stove, and the condition of your chimney…to name a few.

That said, per the recommendations of the NFPA, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), and countless reputable and experienced chimney sweeps, every homeowner should be booking an inspection at least once a year – at the bare minimum.

Whether or not you should be booking inspections more than once per year may be based on…

  • The type of fuel you use. Wood-burning fireplaces typically develop more buildup and creosote, which can increase the risk of chimney fires if not removed regularly…therefore requiring more inspections/sweeps. Meanwhile, gas fireplaces generally produce soot, so once per year is usually fine.
  • How often you use your system. The more frequently you use your fireplace or stove, the more often you’ll need inspections. For instance, if you use your fireplace as a primary heat source year round, you’ll likely want to get the system checked a few times per year.
  • The type of chimney you have. Not all chimneys are created equal! …and the type of chimney you have can affect inspection frequency. For instance, older masonry chimneys often require more frequent inspections compared to newer metal chimneys.
  • How the weather’s been. Harsher weather conditions, such as heavy rain, strong winds, or earthquakes, can affect the integrity of your chimney. If you’ve had particularly bad weather or experienced a major storm or natural event, it’d be best to get a chimney inspection booked.
  • Past issues. If you’ve had problems with your chimney in the past, such as chimney fires, leaks, or drafts, you may need more frequent inspections to ensure those issues don’t recur.

And remember…
Even if you only use your fireplace or stove occasionally, it’s still important to have your chimney inspected every single year. Even an unused chimney experiences things like weather damage, animal invasion, and debris accumulation – all of which can affect chimney function, value, and safety.

In the end, it’s best to consult with a professional chimney inspector to determine the appropriate schedule based on your specific needs and circumstances.

What Happens if a Chimney Inspection Reveals Damage or Buildup?

If a chimney inspection reveals damage or buildup, the next appropriate steps will depend on the nature and severity of the issues discovered.
For instance, if the inspection reveals creosote buildup (which is common in wood-burning chimneys), a chimney sweeping service will be the best course of action. A professional chimney sweep technician will use specialized brushes and tools to remove the creosote from the chimney walls, reducing the risk of experiencing chimney fires.

And in some cases, if the creosote is glazed or really baked on, specialized products and tools will need to be used.

A sweeping will also be needed if there are blockages in the chimney, such as debris, animal nests, or even parts of a damaged flue liner. Like creosote, all of these can obstruct airflow and pose safety hazards.

Coopertown technician standing inside the fireplace, performing a visual inspection of the flue and smoke shelf

Now, if the inspection uncovers structural damage, such as cracks, loose bricks, deteriorating mortar, or damaged chimney liners, repair services will be necessary. The specific repair work will depend on the extent of the damage, but may include tuckpointing (repointing mortar joints), chimney relining, or rebuilding sections of the chimney.

And in some cases, the inspection may uncover severe safety concerns such as improper installation, inadequate ventilation, or insufficient clearances to combustible materials. Remedying these issues may involve bigger adjustments or renovations, like adding components, removing damaged pieces, or rebuilding or remodeling.

Whatever you need for fireplace or chimney repairs in the Memphis area, don’t stress – call on us! We can handle anything your chimney throws our way.

Can I Use My Fireplace if My Chimney Needs Repairs?

Definitely not! If any damage is present, you’ll want to put off use until appropriate action is taken by an experienced, certified, and knowledgeable professional.

Here’s why:

  • You’ll face serious safety concerns. Obviously the biggest issue of using a damaged chimney is that it can put your household’s safety at risk. Creosote buildup, structural damage, and blockages can all compromise the safe operation of your fireplace…and ignoring these issues and continuing to use your fireplace can increase the risk of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, or smoke backdrafts.
  • You can exacerbate existing damage. Continuing to use your fireplace when repairs are needed can make your current damage worsen – and, thus, become more costly and time-consuming to address. For example, if your chimney has cracks or loose bricks, the heat from the fire can cause further deterioration…and what would have been a quick tuckpointing job could now be a chimney rebuild.
  • There could be insurance implications. Using a fireplace with known chimney issues may void your homeowner’s insurance coverage or result in a denial of claims in the event of a fire or weather-related incident. Insurance companies typically require homeowners to maintain their property in a safe and habitable condition, which includes addressing chimney repairs promptly.

In summary, it’s strongly recommended to refrain from using your fireplace until necessary repairs have been completed by a qualified chimney professional. Prioritize your safety and the safety of your household by addressing chimney issues as soon as possible – and by following the recommendations of certified professionals.

Can I Perform a Chimney Inspection Myself?

Really, any chimney- or fireplace-related service should be left to the pros. Remember that these appliances are used to hold fires…in the middle of your home! That means, if something important is overlooked, you’re not just welcoming inefficiency and inconvenience…you’re also increasing the risk of some serious safety hazards.

Chimney inspections require a trained eye to identify potential hazards and structural issues accurately. Without the expertise of a certified chimney professional, you may overlook critical signs of damage or fail to recognize safety concerns.

Chimney inspections also should involve the use of specialized equipment, such as chimney cameras and appropriate sweeping brushes that won’t harm the structure of your flue. Professional chimney inspectors have access to these tools and know how to use them safely and effectively to get the job done right.

Finally, let’s say you are well-versed in chimney anatomy and really know your stuff. Regardless, climbing onto your roof and inspecting a chimney can be hazardous, especially if you’re not equipped with the appropriate safety gear. Falls from these heights can result in serious injuries, and accessing the interior of the chimney can expose you to toxic substances like creosote or carbon monoxide.

Oh, one more thing… Remember that, in some jurisdictions, chimney inspections actually must be performed by licensed professionals to comply with building codes and regulations. Attempting to perform a chimney inspection yourself could result in legal consequences or, at the very least, void your access to insurance coverage if an incident occurs.

Instead of attempting a DIY chimney inspection, hire one of our certified chimney professionals for the job. Our qualified inspectors have the necessary training, experience, and equipment to thoroughly assess your chimney for any issues – then provide recommendations for appropriate repairs or maintenance.

Call Us Now

Do you need to schedule a level one, two, or three chimney or fireplace inspection? We’re here to help you out! Call Coopertown Services at 901-358-7777 or schedule an appointment online today.

 

Remember to set up your annual chimney sweeping to make sure your fireplace is ready for the next burn season. You can count on the quality and dependability of all our chimney services.