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Smokestack Inspection, Industrial Chimney Inspection

Industrial Chimney Inspection USA, Russia, Kazakhstan, World Wide Service

Why are Class II inspections necessary:

Repairs to industrial chimneys should be carried out under a Class II Inspection done by the OHSA defined Competent or Qualified Person. Repairs should not be driven by the goals of engineers, sales teams, crew managers, and a work force using a Class I inspection. A good repair plan must include the inspection of the brick joints or concrete cracks behind the facade. Only after understanding the extent of damage to the mortar or concrete, how soft or hard it is, and to what extent there maybe damage can a workable repair plan then be established. Pointing is typically understood and defined as facade repairs in the masonry industry, typically to a depth of the width of the joint. However, deep pointing is often required with industrial chimney repairs. Chimneys can have repair joints that need to be filled and packed all the way to the end of the bricks on both sides of the chimney column. In order to determine the kind of repairs needed, no Engineer using a Class I inspection can make a complete determination of the nature or extent of necessary repairs. When repairs do go forth under the direction of a Class I inspection what can happen is that the pointing contract takes place over rotten joints and around rotten brickwork where a great part of the joint must be refilled,

Why Class II Inspections for repairs must be ongoing:

Like any exposed structure, chimneys deteriorate over time. This is especially true in the colder climates with greater fluctuations in temperatures. But on industrial chimneys, water can get past the façade mortar joints, and then get into the bricks of the chimney column. The bricks then also become soaked, and the three to nine core holes in the bricks fill with water. Freezing weather can cause sections of brick faces to break away from the chimney. If there is enough water, it will flow down inside the column and accumulate in lower sections of the chimney. This can cause cracking or turn the bricks to powder. In concrete chimneys damage from water softens the concrete considerably and has the same effect. Porous concrete and unrepaired cracks allow water to settle around the rebar, this results in rust and cracks.

Continental Chimney Company, LLC offers inspection services.

We are associated with contributing members to the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers), the engineers we use, regularly work on Chimney and Stack Assessment. We have created Chimney and Stack Inspection Programs for chimney owners throughout the United States.
We can provide your company with a detailed and comprehensive inspection that will assist you in developing planned maintenance based on a Class II inspection. Planned maintenance is considerably more cost-effective than unscheduled maintenance. Planned maintenance is considerably more cost-effective than unscheduled maintenance.
Our efforts and commitment to provide professional inspection services for chimneys and stacks begins with experience and knowledge obtained through repairs. Combining experience with an up to date understanding of industrial practices and material enables us to offer very effective inspections and recommendations for repairs.

Read more on the steps to a thorough industrial chimney inspection here


Our industrial chimney inspections are sometimes done using special access ladders with a safety rope around the chimney column. We can access other parts of the chimney with rope access techniques incorporating SPRAT and current OSHA standards. Our technicians are also trained in high angle rescue techniques.
Smokestack inspection should be a routine practice done every few years. Regular inspections mean catching repair problems early which in turn will save a plant money and greatly prolong the life of their chimneys.

Procedures given to detail with documentation:

Our inspections contain inspection photographs every 5 feet or more, along with recommendations for any repairs that may be required. Where the chimney can be proven to be in satisfactory condition, a determination is made on where the condition of the chimney is in relation to its original construction, or how long it may be until future repairs are required.

Internal Inspection Procedures include:

In accordance with OSHA “Confined Space Regulations”, an evaluation of the chimney column or duct interiors will be performed prior to entry for the internal inspection. Before and during our inspection we analyze the interior for confined space hazards, 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 with OSHA and standard industry practices.

The purpose of our inspection is to identify and document existing conditions of the entire structure. Included are the following items as a part of our inspections:

Non-destructive visual inspection: Hand tools are used such as a rebound hammer on concrete and steel in order to determine spalling or scale, separation and deterioration.
Photographs or video: Photographic documentation for the present condition every few feet, and comprehensive photos where there has been notable changes or cracks in the structure. A drone is used to get an understanding of the extent of the kind of deterioration we find in our hands-on inspection and to get an overall picture of the structure.
Concrete and steel thickness and density: In this part of our inspection a rebound hammer, ultrasonic thickness gauge, and other tools are used to measure the internal condition of the chimney. This inspection will determine if there is significant deterioration that warrants a more extensive inspection in specific areas, such as the taking of core samples or prism block tests.
Repair materials and procedures: The owner will be informed as to what are the best recommended repairs or suggested maintenance coatings based on our visual inspection.

Contact us today, we would be glad to talk to you:

We contract inspections in NYC and offer nationwide service. Continental Chimney 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. Locations we have worked recently are in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, as well as New York State. Additionally, we continually work performing industrial and commercial chimney piecemeal dismantlement and repairs.
If your operation has not had a chimney smokestack inspection in the last 10 years this year would be the best time to contract an inspection. We have the expertise to manage your commercial chimney repair and industrial chimney repair to ensure your workplace remains safe. Read more here to further understand why ongoing and five year inspections are necessary for industrial chimneys and smokestacks. Looking for more information on which professionals to choose for you industrial smokestack inspection? Visit our blog for great information and tips.

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:

Category I 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 are scheduled within 3 to 5 years) Category II Damage which requires attention; repairs should be made in a timely fashion (Short-term repairs are scheduled during the first available opportunity or within 2 years) Category III Damage which presently compromises the structural integrity or creates a safety hazard and therefore warrants immediate action on an emergency basis.

Industrial Chimney Inspection

Collapsed Liner

Industrial Chimney Inspection

Class I and Class II Inspection

Industrial Chimney Inspection

Steel Bands

Industrial Chimney Inspection


Industrial Chimney Inspection

Bellow (from lack of maintenance)

Industrial Chimney Inspection

Neglected Pointing

Industrial Chimney Inspection

Vertical cracked brick are from neglected joints

Industrial Chimney Inspection

Neglected Pointing

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.

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.