Chimney inspection camera (C) Daniel Friedman Inspecting Chimney Flues by Remote Cameras

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Chimscan and other chimney interior flue inspection camera systems:

This article describes the use of a remote camera and lighting to perform a safety inspection of the condition of a chimney flue interior.

These articles on chimneys and chimney safety provide detailed suggestions describing how to perform a thorough visual inspection of chimneys for safety and other defects. Chimney inspection methods and chimney repair methods are also discussed.

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Inspecting Chimney Flues by Remote Cameras

Preparing to inspect a chimney flue with a camera (C) Daniel Friedman Chimney inspection camera (C) Daniel Friedman

Peering up into a chimney flue from below or down into a flue from a rooftop access point, even with a bright light, is pretty much staring into a black abyss. It is difficult to see all of the interior chimney surfaces. Quite a few chimney cleaning companies offer a camera service which is in essence, a fisheye lens attached to a video camera which is lowered through the flue or which may be inserted into a chimney flue from inside the building at a fireplace or chimney thimble.

A Chimscan® is a common chimney inspection system you may hear about. Chimney inspection cameras permit a more careful inspection of the condition of the entire flue interior.

Especially on older masonry flues of unknown condition, this step can be quite valuable in assessing the safety and security of the flue against fire, spark, or gas leaks.

Our photos, compliments of Mike Grossman in Duluth, MN, show a special chimney inspection camera being prepared for use during a chimney inspection.

  • Never use a chimney for any purpose if its safety condition is unknown. Serious fire or carbon monoxide hazards could be present
  • Always look up into the flue with a bright light to see if you see thick coated-on creosote or debris, damage, holes; view is incomplete unless you are using a special chimney scanning camera, but often even a limited inspection can show evidence of an unsafe chimney or can suggest conditions that make a complete inspection an urgent recommendation
  • Also don't forget to inspect the fireplace or woodstove flue before lighting the first fire of the season- since an animal or insects could have obstructed the flue over the summer. If you have a properly screened cap on your chimney top you'll keep out the animals but not the insects.



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