CCTV Surveys – Seeing is Believing!
The following provides details of my closed-circuit television (CCTV), chimney inspection and survey service, where I use a modern state of the art colour camera to inspect chimney flues and flue liners throughout their height.
My concern is the safety of your chimney/ flue. CCTV enables a thorough inspection and reduces assumptions considerably.
Even if your fire or stove is working well and your chimney or flue appears to be in good condition, it is still best to have the chimney cleaned and checked at least annually.
Flues are hidden. There are serious limitations on what can be achieved with a mirror and torch. Using a CCTV camera provides the best view possible of the condition of the inside of the chimney or flue liner.
Some examples of concerns that I come across, that cannot be seen without a camera include:
1. A flue has been encroached upon, for the back of a cupboard.
2. The chimney breast has been used to provide support with timber joists lodged in the brickwork.
3. Electrical wires and plumbing pipes passing through the chimney void.
4. Poor integral structure (mortar missing, withe collapsing etc)
5. No flue liner and the owner has previously been billed for one!
6. Damaged/ incorrectly installed liners.
7. Tar build up.
8. Bird/ Vermin/ Bees/ Hornet nests.
9. Rods - where a previous sweep has lost/ broken their rods!
10. Damage to the structure of the Chimney as a result of a chimney fire and the thermal shock which it has experienced.
The concerns above can lead to the potential of smoke and fumes leaking into adjacent rooms and an increased risk of a fire occurring through heat transfer, damage to existing flue linings which may be allowing smoke and fumes to escape and blockages caused by tar build-up or debris, such as bird nests. All of these issues are potentially dangerous and could be lethal.
Additionally, there are other practical reasons for having a survey. These include:
1. Whether a new flue lining is necessary
2. Checking the condition of a flue after a chimney fire has occurred
3. For insurance purposes
4. For new home owners and tenants to ensure the existing flues are safe to be used in their current condition.
The camera I use is compact and robust. It is a Chimney specialist miniature CCTV camera with powerful LED lights. This is mounted on a flexible cable then fed in the Chimney, either forward or rear facing and passed the full height of the flue. With the camera comes a dedicated monitor with a record option. The images are transferred to a computer to be kept as a record, reviewed on site and a copy provided for the owner.
I take the time it needs to ensure a thorough, professional job. I am never in a rush and book appointments appropriately. Each job is unique.
Prior to the survey the flue should not have been used for at least 24 hours. The area around the appliance/ fireplace needs to be cleared to give me space to work. I also need access to a power point.
The area and appliance will be protected as best as possible and a specialist vacuum will be employed to ensure all dust is kept to a minimum. The chimney will then be swept, to remove any debris or blockages that may inhibit the CCTV inspection. A smoke evacuation test will be deployed to visibly detect any leakages.
The CCTV inspection will then take place and the findings presented in a CCTV report, highlighting any suggested remedial works.
My CCTV equipment is state-of-the art providing a quality colour picture. The camera provides a full 360 degrees view for a comprehensive inspection of the entire surface. The inspection is recorded and a full written report, including the footage, will be provided. The report will include any suggested remedial works and the reasons why these should be considered.
The benefits include:
1. Establish the integrity and safety of your chimney, giving peace of mind relating to emergency repairs and potential danger
2. Catch concerns early, so reduce the costs of more extensive repairs
3. Provide evidence to insurers on the condition of the flue
4. Discover whether or not the chimney needs lining
5. Being informed facilitates accurate decision making enabling accurate quotations for work, it reduces those hidden extras.
If you have a chimney or flue that hasn’t been checked or surveyed recently, please contact me to book a survey.