All About Chimney Inspections: An Interview with Robert LeBlanc of The Superior Chimney Sweep

Tell us about your company and its foundation.

Superior Chimney Sweep was founded in 1996 in Easthampton MA. In our first year we services 21 chimneys. 18 years later and 30,000 + chimney inspection and cleanings, we are proud to say those first 21 customers are still using our services.

When should a homeowner look into getting their chimney inspected?

National Fire Protection Association (NEPA) recommends that you have wood and coal stoves, fireplace, chimneys, connections and all other solid fuel heating equipment inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned as often as inspections suggest.

What are the common issues with chimneys that you look for during an inspection?

Flaking of bricks, cracks in flue tiles, creosote build up, blockages, and over all condition of the chimney.

What is the general process of inspecting a chimney?

A 12 point inspection is done on each chimney where the technician looks at the following:
Height of chimney
Chimney Cap
Crown of the chimney
Flue liner
Moisture Resistance

For Fireplaces we also check:
Smoke Chamber
Spark Screen/Doors
Hearth Protection, clearances + combustibles

For Wood stoves we also check:
Stove Pipe
NFPA Approved Flue Connections
Proper installation which includes: Thimble and Hearth Clearances

We also inspect Gas/Oil heating systems to make sure there is no nest, broken flue tiles or blockages.

Do different types of chimneys call for different inspection approaches?

The most common Inspection is a Type 1 inspection. This is a non invasive inspection, where a visual conformation is required.

Some chimneys require a Type 2 or 3 inspections. A Type 2 requires a camera. This is usually done when the chimney is very tall or has offsets in the flue that can not been seen visually.

A Type 3 inspection is required when there has been a catastrophic Incident, i.e.: house fire, earthquake ect. Type 3 inspections are usually done by the State Fire Inspector. This involves a more invasive inspection which may require removing walls etc, to view specific areas of concern.

What is the best way to contact you and your business?

By calling our office at one of the following numbers:

Easthampton 413-529-9436 Amherst 413-253-0155
Greenfield 413-772-6662 Springfield 413-739-9400
Westfield 413-562-8800 Enfield CT 860-741-0477

Fax: 413-529-9433
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