If there is fireplace present in the home, a residential inspection will include an inspection of the readily accessible and visual areas of a fireplace. However, in many cases a more invasive inspection of the chimney’s flue and interior components is recommended especially if the fireplace is a wood burning unit. This inspection is referred to as a level-2 chimney inspection and is a separate ancillary service that requires specialized knowledge and equipment. To view the entire chimney flue and the components, a high-tech light-house camera is required that is inserted up and through the chimney to check for damage to the flue, the damper, and the flue lining, mortar deterioration, offset terracotta flue tiles, failing mortar joints, squirl and bird nests, and much more. All these hazards can cause problems with the operation of the fireplace, as well as possibly catching fire and back drafting soot into the home. Soot can cause damage to the paint, requiring the entire home to be repainted to mitigate the mess and discolored walls and ceilings. For a few hundred dollars, it makes sense to consider adding this most valuable safety check to your required inspections.