Information in this blogpost was “borrowed” from , pictures were donated by and subsequently posted here with permission from Estoban Corporation.


The Chimney —24 hours a day; 7 days a week; 365 days a year  —  thousands of cubic feet of air travels through it – some clean; What is the Most Active Part of Your Home and Yet Never Moves- Laurens, SC- Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps-w800-h597some not so clean.  

It should never be assumed that a chimney can be used without a thorough examination – both exterior and interior.

  • Rain, flue gases, and freezing moisture cause erosion and deterioration to chimneys.
  • Breaks in the chimney liner (even small ones) can reduce the chimney’s ability to vent all the products of combustion.  These breaks allow combustion gases and condensation to enter the home structure through the exposed chimney walls.

While viewing the interior of their chimney on our Chim-Scan® monitor from the hearth, homeowners can view, right along with our technician, the condition of their fireplace and chimney.  Our technician can point out vital information about the chimney’s interior condition.

In gas and oil central heating systems, early detection of condensation within the chimney can actually help prevent costly home repairs.  Condensates can literally eat away the chimney casing if left unmanaged.  If enough of the flaking chips fall to the bottom, the connector pipe can be blocked causing (at best) furnace systems to malfunction or (at worst) a build-up of toxic fumes in the living space.

Our technician can show you a variety of precarious conditions, should they exist:

  • Improper new construction
  • Chimney fire damage
  • Improper prefabricated chimney connection
  • Deterioration from gas appliance connections
  • Cracks in flue liners
  • Broken or missing tile liners
  • Deteriorated or missing mortar joints between flue liners
  • “Quick-fixed” thimble holes
  • Hidden breaching (holes in chimneys)
  • Nest, limbs and/or other blockages

Increased use of fireplaces and wood heat, during the winter season, usually results in increases of chimney fires.  When conducting a sudden occurrence (chimney fire) investigation, a video inspection service can give you the reliable information you need to repair your chimney, if needed, and continue to enjoy the use of your fireplace or woodstove worry free.  An examination soon after a mishap can determine the cause of any damage sustained by documenting some of the tell-tale signs left by the sudden occurrence event.

  • Whitened mortar joints
  • Blaze marks
  • Missing mortar
  • Cracks
  • Discoloration
  • Buckling of steel liners

Our reports can provide pictures confirming these findings.

A video inspection of a chimney interior offers both the Fire Investigator and the Insurance Adjustor these important benefits:

  • Detailed information, obtained only inches away from the chimney walls
  • Complete documentation in a variety of digital formats
  • Saves time on claim processing by getting reliable information easily
  • Estimates for repair

Accurate information is important for making decisions about a chimney.  National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 requires companies to do a Level 2 inspection when a home is sold or new heating appliances are being installed.  Our Chim-Scan® equipment allows our technician to do these Level 2 inspections and document their findings.

If you are a homeowner having your chimney swept, ask for a video inspection.  Seeing the interior of your chimney will give a general knowledge of your chimney system and provide added peace of mind.

If you are a Fire Inspector or Insurance Adjustor, let us help you base your evaluations on accurate and documentable information.  Take the guesswork out of chimney evaluation by calling us to video scan what you are inspecting.

Our thanks to Estoban Corporation for their generosity in allowing us to share this information taken from an original posting on their website.