Video Scanning


1)  When is videoscanning needed?  Basically, whenever damage or deterioration are      not discernible enough with bright lights and naked eye.

  • After  a damaged event such as a chimney fire, a house fire, a lightning  strike, a tree falling on the chimney, a severe animal presence and/or  development of an extreme blockage.  NOTE:  many such "events" (not  gradual wear and tear) are covered by normal homeowner's insurance!
  • When  major interior flue deterioration has been observed — usually because  of acid erosion or freeze-thaw cycles induced by water penetration.   Such deterioration is often accompanied by seeping dark stains or white  calcium salts ("efflorescence").  When a chimney is unlined (or  suspected of being unlined) and verification of its status and the  extent of deteriorated mortar joints and brickwork needs to be  determined.  Videoscanning can often ascertain the appropriateness of  continued service based on safety, Code, performance and durability  issues.  NOTE:  Lots of old, unlined brick chimneys (usually built  before 1950) have no business being used without remedial actions and  repairs — e.g., fireplaces and oil/gas flues.
  • As  a means to routine or extra thorough evaluation as part of regular  maintenance, at a time of real estate transfer, or when an insurance  company wants detailed data.  Installing a new heating appliance,  especially a woodstove, may be an important occasion for a videoscan!  


2)  How does videscanning work?

  • A  3" x 6" camera is inserted into the chimney, either from above or  below, and caused to travel up and down the chimney while attached to  flexible rods.
  • The resulting visual images are monitored on a portable video screen positioned either at top or bottom.
  • Helpful  or appropriate visual evidence is captured in color via digital  equipment that saves it for future viewing and analysis.  Hard copy  pictures can be reproduced to be part of reports and proposals.  Copies  of crucial images can be made available to appropriate parties as  needed, either in digital or hard copy format.

3)  Summary:   Videoscanning can provide a detailed, reliable insight into  difficult-to-view areas that potentially pose great risks and expenses.   Videoscanning is invaluable in times of crisis or uncertainty, and  provides cost-saving information and peace of mind.