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What a Chimney Scan Is & Why You Need It

When a doctor wants to get a clear picture of what’s happening inside the body of a patient, an X-ray or other imaging technology is usually ordered. Until recent years, when a chimney sweep wanted to know the condition of the inside of a chimney, he or she had to guess. Today with Chim-Scan, that guesswork is taken out of the process.

Chim-Scan is a video camera system that chimney inspectors can raise and lower within a chimney flue to get a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on in there.  Let’s take a look at this amazing chimney inspection tool.

chimney scan richmondWhat will Chim-Scan reveal?

Certified chimney inspectors have one job: search for damage to chimneys and their components that could lead to expensive repairs and dangerous operating conditions down the line. Chim-Scan technology gives the inspector valuable information about the condition of the chimney’s interior.

Chimney liner damage:

With a real-time viewing device, inspectors (and homeowners) can see areas of the chimney liner that have cracked or split. A compromised liner stores creosote in the breaks, where it can serve as fuel for a chimney fire. Damaged liners also will allow intense heat and condensation to contact the chimney masonry or parts of the home, which can lead to severe damage or a fire.

Creosote buildup:

Creosote forms when smoke condenses in the flue while a fire is burning. This substance can present as sticky, flakey, puffy or solid, and all forms are highly flammable. Chim-Scan technology allows the inspector to determine how much creosote is in a chimney.

Masonry damage:

Chimneys operated without a chimney liner (common with older chimneys) can sustain significant damage to the bricks and mortar joints over time. With video imagery, an inspector can assess the condition of the interior masonry and recommend timely chimney masonry repair or rebuilding to keep the structure safe.


If a chimney doesn’t have a chimney cap, various debris can enter the flue and hinder the proper drafting of smoke and toxins. The nests of small animals, tree leaves, twigs and other debris can be spotted during a Chim-Scan inspection and then safely removed using the proper tools and techniques.

Evidence of a chimney fire:

Chimneys often experience small, quick fires that the homeowners never know about. With a sizeable chimney fire, the homeowner does know about it, but until a professional chimney video inspection is performed, the precise extent of the damage cannot be known. Chim-Scan inspections are the best way to assess a fire-damaged chimney.

Chim-Scan Camera Wire Richmond, VAOther targets of a chimney inspection

In addition to the interior of the flue, inspectors look closely at the exterior bricks and mortar for signs of decay and water damage. They also inspect the chimney cap, chimney crown, roof flashing, throat and top-sealing dampers, smoke chamber, smoke shelf and other components.

An annual inspection including Chim-Scan technology is a smart move toward keeping your fireplace and chimney safe and in top shape all year long.

Chimney Saver Solutions of Richmond, VA, is ready to help with all your chimney needs including certified chimney sweep, professional chimney inspection, chimney repair and rebuilding and other important services. Get more information or schedule an appointment by calling (804) 440-5000.

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