Stack Inspections

Smokestack Inspection, Industrial Chimney Inspection

Our industrial chimney inspections typically contain inspection photographs and recommendations for any repairs that may be required. If the internal surfaces are found to be in good condition, a letter indicating that no maintenance work is recommended are submitted along with the inspection photographs.

In accordance with OSHA “Confined Space Regulations”, an evaluation of the shaft interiors will be performed prior to entry for the internal inspection.  We will analyze the interior for confined space hazards, including testing the atmosphere for safe levels of oxygen, combustibles and carbon monoxide. If the interior is found to be safe to enter, the interior work will continue.  If the interior is found to be hazardous, the hazardous condition(s) must be removed, and reevaluated for safe conditions prior to entry.

All work is performed in accordance within OSHA and standard industry practices.


Our plan for industrial chimney Inspections are as follows:

The purpose of our inspection is to identify and document existing conditions of the entire structure. We typically include the following items as a part of this inspection:

A. A non-destructive visual inspection of the stack. During this inspection we use hand tools to tap or pick at the concrete or steel in order to determine concrete spalling or separation and deterioration.

B. Photographic documentation where there has been notable changes or cracks in the structure or every few feet.

C. Concrete / steel thickness and density. This part of our inspections can include the taking of core samples or ultrasonic thickness measurements to determine concrete or steel density or thickness. However our visual inspections can sometimes determine if there is significant deterioration that might warrant these more extensive inspections.

D. Recommended repairs or suggested maintenance coatings based on our visual inspection.

Our industrial chimney inspections are done using our special access ladders with a safety rope around the chimney, and often include accessing other parts o the chimney with rope access techniques incorporating OSHA standards.

Smokestack inspection should be a routine practice done every few years depending on the age of the chimney, because the following recommended repairs will save a plant money and greatly prolong the life of their chimneys.

Continental Chimney & Engineering LLC specializes in industrial chimney inspections, factory chimney inspections, refinery chimney inspections, and commercial chimney inspections.  We can travel anywhere in the USA and abroad to provide industrial smokestack inspections or commercial smokestack inspections.

Based on our smokestack inspection findings, recommendations for industrial chimney repair will be made and the various items assigned to a category based on the severity of damage. Categories are as follows:


Damage which presently compromises the structural integrity or creates a safety hazard and therefore warrants immediate action; on an emergency basis.


Damage which requires attention; repairs should be made in a timely fashion.

(Short-term repairs – scheduled during the first available opportunity or within 2 years)


Damage which is not threatening to the structural integrity, nor would we  anticipate deterioration to rapidly accelerate, thus affect the structural integrity or substantially increase repair costs.  (Long-term repairs – scheduled within 3 – 5 years)

This is the concrete test hammer invented by Ernst Schmidt.  It remains to this day the most widely used non-destructive test instrument for a rapid assessment of the condition of a concrete structure.  By measuring the resistance in concrete with the Schmidt test hammer concrete strength and density can be determined accurately.  See the video link below for Concrete Test Hammers: Schmidt Rebound Hammer Portfolio from Proceq.

This is the Olympus 38DL Plus Ultrasonic Thickness Gage.  Not only will it show the exact thickness of steel, it will show the wall thinning measurements on a internally corroded steel smokestack.  It will also show the exact measurement of corrosion and the thickness of any coatings, making it the perfect tool for steel smokestack inspections.  For more information see the following link below.

Phased Array Flaw Detector Phased array (PA) instruments produce accurate, detailed cross-sectional pictures of internal structures at fast inspection speeds, these kinds of inspections take more time then thickness gauge inspection. Phased array flaw detectors give us the capabilities to inspect the welds on industrial smokestacks.

Steel Bands

Lack of maintenance

Smokestack Inspection revealed collapsed liner


Bellow due to lack of maintenance

Neglected Pointing