Trust Our Certified Sweeps to Provide In-Depth Chimney Inspections

When it comes to keeping your chimney and fireplace in great working order, chimney inspections are vital. Whether you’re sniffing out the source of smelly fireplace odors, trying to tackle a chimney leak, trying to figure out why smoke is coming back into your home, or you’re experiencing another issue, a chimney inspection is the first step towards finding a solution.

Tech with video equipment inspection device.
Chimney Technician under house with safety equipment looking into chimney  with flashlight
Chimney Tech Inspecting Chimney with video equipment and vacuum hose beside him-limestone surround with wood mantle- Valley Park MO St. Louis MO - English Sweep

The Basics of Chimney Inspections by the CSIA

The Chimney Safety Institute of America explains the basics of chimney inspections, why they need to be performed annually at least, and why a CSIA certified chimney professional is the standard and is recommended.

Problems are often caused by hidden dangers like high levels of creosote, cracking or crumbling flue tiles, or even missing or damaged components.

Of course, any fireplace or chimney damage can be dangerous, which is why you shouldn’t just call a professional chimney sweep when you spot issues. Rather, invest in annual chimney inspections, so you can resolve problems when they’re small and prevent problems altogether.

For those in St. Louis, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, University City, and the many towns and cities surrounding, English Sweep, Inc. has got you covered. Our knowledgeable crew offers three levels of chimney inspections, ensuring your needs are met no matter what’s going on with your chimney system.

The 3 Levels of Inspections Summed Up

Just what does each level of inspection entail and when is one needed? We’ve got you covered.

  • Level 1: For a level 1 inspection, we’ll look over all readily accessible areas of the chimney. This includes any parts that are already exposed or can easily be accessed without the use of tools or other equipment. The basic soundness of the system will be checked, and the sweep will note the presence of any potential clogs or buildup as well. If you are diligent about investing in annual inspections, and your system hasn’t experienced any major changes or trauma then a level 1 inspection should be all you need.
  • Level 2: In a level 2 inspection, all the checks in a level 1 inspection are completed. In addition to this, we may use common tools to remove any doors, panels, or coverings hindering access to areas of your chimney system. Finally, level 2 inspections incorporate the use of camera equipment that is snaked up the flue to get an accurate and up-close look at any potential threats to the system’s health.
  • Level 3: Level 3 inspections are required when parts of the chimney need to be removed to figure out what’s causing unresolved issues. This could mean removing the crown, taking down an interior wall, or something similar.

So, now you know the gist of what each inspection entails. But we want to address a few more common questions homeowners tend to experience.

When Is a Level 2 Inspection Recommended or Required?

So, what warrants a level 2 inspection?

A level 2 inspection is recommended after a major change has been made to the system. This could mean you switched fuel types, added an insert, invested in relining work, or made some type of renovation.

Another time these are required is after the system has experienced some type of trauma. If you’ve recently been through a flood, tornado, earthquake, or other type of severe storm or natural disaster, then a level 2 inspection is in order. We also recommend these after lightning strikes or chimney fires.

Finally, be sure to invest in a level 2 inspection during any real estate transactions. Many homeowners falsely assume they’re good to go once a home inspection has been completed, but these don’t cover everything when it comes to your chimney. A level 2 real estate inspection ensures nothing is missed, so you’re not left with any surprises after purchasing your new home.

How Common Are Level 3 Inspections?

Level 3 inspections can seem pretty extreme, so many question just how often these are actually needed. Is it something to worry about?

Well, don’t stress too much because level 3 inspections are quite rare, and are only completed if both the level 1 inspection and the level 2 inspection didn’t reveal the cause of the problems you’re experiencing. It takes a lot to get to this point, so chances are you’ll never need one.

That said, if you ever need one, our CSIA-certified sweeps will explain why and discuss the pros/cons with you before doing anything. You’ll always be informed and empowered to make the best decisions for your home with English Sweep, Inc. on the job.

Call Today to Schedule Your Inspection

Annual inspections ensure you enter every burning season with peace of mind and confidence. Is your chimney ready for use next burn season? Be sure it is. Give us a call at 636-225-3340 to get your next inspection booked with our qualified crew. You can also book an appointment right here on our website.


If you are purchasing a home, be sure you arrange for a real estate inspection of the chimney system so you can be sure what you’re getting. That’s one of the many services we offer to ensure customer safety.