If you have a chimney, whether or not it is in use for anything, it should be inspected every few years. If you do not keep a good eye on the condition of your chimney, it could start to fall apart, raining debris down the roof and on top of unsuspecting passersby. It can also cause fires and explosions if the chimney is still part of a fully functional fireplace that you use to warm your home in the colder months. If you have never had your chimney inspected, but you do not know who to call or what to expect, the following information will point you in the right direction. 

Professionals That May Provide Chimney Inspection

A chimney falls under the jurisdiction of three distinct professionals, each of which can inspect it for you, but it has to be a service for which they are qualified. They also have to advertise that they provide such a service and not be called based on any assumption that they will provide a chimney inspection on demand. Check with your local roofers/roofing contractors, masons, and chimney sweep companies, all of whom have some experience with the construction and maintenance of chimneys. If you cannot find any of these three professionals to do an inspection of your chimney for you, find a home inspector who knows how to perform chimney inspections

What You Can Expect

Whomever you end up hiring to do the inspection, expect it to last about an hour. The contractor or professional will first climb up to the roof to where the chimney is. He/she will check all the mortar between bricks, tap the bricks to make sure they do not move, check the flashing around the area where the chimney meets the roof, and then check the openings in the top of the chimney to make sure they are free and clear. 

Then the contractor/professional will come into the house, look up inside the chimney if it is connected to a working fireplace, and check the bricks and mortar of all of the visible parts of the fireplace and chimney inside your home. If a chimney sweep is able to do the inspection for you, then he/she will most likely offer to clean the chimney and flue for you during this inspection. The cleaning may be extra. If you hire a roofing contractor or mason, he/she can fix any structural issues noted after the inspection is complete.