Buying/Selling A Home?

  1.  Home Inspector says you need to have your chimney swept.
  2. Chimney Sweep says you need an inspection with that sweep.

But you’ve already paid for an “inspection”…Or have you?

Buying or Selling a House - Spartansburg SC - Blue Sky

Technically, you’ve had a “home” inspection. By reviewing the ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) standard for what a home inspection provides (and what its limitations and exclusions are), we can find out

  1. Why a home “inspector” might state that you need to have your chimney cleaned.
  2.  Why a chimney sweep might say that you need to have your chimney inspected even though your home inspector has presumably already “inspected” it.

Here is how it works….pretty much:

  •  If, during the home inspection, the chimney is dirty, the home inspector can’t see the surfaces of the smoke chamber and the flue liner because they are covered in creosotedeposits. So he can’t “inspect” it. It will have to be cleaned before an inspection can be performed. His standard says that he doesn’t have to “inspect” anything that is not readily accessible. If he can’t see it, it’s not accessible and he’s off the hook. However, he protects himself and his company by telling you that you need to have the chimney cleaned. He’s done his job as his standard dictates and the problem is passed on to someone else.
  • If you call a chimney sweep, and if he’s CSIA certified, his standard says that he has to go by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Standard 211. This standard says that fireplaces/chimneys that are part of a property sale (among other things) must undergo a Level 2 inspection. This inspection requires a video scan (among other things). Here are those parameters quoted in part.


“Level 2 Inspections –A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Changes can include a change in the fuel type, changes to the shape of, or material in, the flue (i.e. relining), or the replacement or addition of an appliance of a dissimilar type, input rating or efficiency. Additionally, a Level 2 inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of a property or after an operation malfunction or external event that is likely to have caused damage to the chimney. Building fires, chimney fires, seismic events as well as weather events are all indicators that this level of inspection is warranted……..”

So…here’s the bottom line:

Unfortunately, if you really want to know what’s so about the chimney you are buying/selling, you will probably have to pay for TWO inspections. Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps |Bless Your Hearth technicians are extensively trained to perform all levels of inspection as outlined in NFPA Standard 211. Feel free to give our office a call or an email if you would like more information about CSIA certification, Levels of Inspection or would just like to book an appointment for inspection and/or sweeping.