CHIMNEY CCTV Inspections explained – Video Transcript
(edited for greater clarity)
Lee Pearce: When we do a CCTV Inspection of the Chimney, it’s to actually see what’s going on inside the chimney. Obviously, as a chimney sweep, all I can do when I look up the lower part of a chimney is see the lower part of the chimney.
Bends In Chimneys
All chimneys usually bend before they get to the ceiling because there’ll be another fireplace above them, so what you can see is limited.
The same if you’re on top of a chimney looking down – chimneys aren’t generally vertical, there’d be an offset near the top as well. So you can only see a limited amount.
If we were sweeping a chimney and we found we couldn’t get the brush through for some reason, the idea of a CCTV inspection is that we would put the camera up there to se what was preventing the brush from going through.
Chimneys And Party Walls
More and more of my work is party wall work, where people are putting extensions on the top of roofs, doing loft extensions etc. All that sort of work is party wall notifiable, and you’ll find that the prudent thing to do is have a CCTV survey of the chimneys done before and a CCTV survey of the chimneys done after the work – that way you’ll know if the builders have damaged the chimney in between.
Quite often when people are putting loft extensions in, it means that they’re putting steel beams in to the chimney – RSJs. Quite often we’ve found that builders are putting RSJs into neighbours chimneys – lots and lots of times.
Chimney CCTV Camera Kit
So have you got a little camera on a stick?
Do you want to see it?
This is the Wohler Viz 400 CCTV Inspection camera kit that comes from Germany. It’s probably the best one on the market. We’ve actually got two of these because we can’t be without it – if one breaks they have to go back to Germany to be recalibrated.
It’s got a pan to tilt system on it where we can move the camera backwards and forwards. We can move it side to side and we can look forward.
We can put this up the chimney forward or backwards or we can put it down the chimney from the top. It’s got an extra lighting rig which gives us an extra lighting surface for looking up much bigger chimneys.
As you can see, it’s much brighter. It doesn’t look very bright here but in the chimney, that’s lots and lots of light. We use for finding steel beams and birds nests and all sorts of things in chimneys.
It’s quite an expensive piece of kit, so it’s not a cheap job to do, but it’s a necessary job. These go up the chimney, we’ve got 30 metres of cable here, so we can put this up 30 metres. We record it all onto a memory card and then we can put it onto a computer and look at the images in more detail. We provide our customers with DVDs. We also provide a report and take stills from shots from the video itself and we can include that as part of the report.