Yes, there are three levels of chimney inspections.
The National Fire Protection Association is the industry standard code. Specifically, NFPA-211 goes over these levels exhaustively. The NFPA makes this data available to the public for free. You will have to set up an account, but it is not a big deal. Click the link below if you want to get your data from the source:
We recently cleaned a fireplace chimney that had a woodstove insert with no liner. This is as bad as it gets:
In the ancient days we had to use ridged stainless steel pipe and very heavy-duty flex pipe to line a chimney. The liner would frequently get caught up in bends in the chimney system and cause us much grief. We install liners to make chimneys safe, and as mechanical code requires when installing to the exhaust ports of woodstoves and oil-fuel furnaces. Now we have light-weight stainless steel flex material that lines the entire run of the chimney and is much easier to install. One word of caution though: care needs to be taken when sweeping these liners. A chimney sweep can damage one of these liners if done improperly with the wrong equipment. The next blog will discuss this cleaning procedure, so please watch for the posting…
Have a good day!
The above photos are of extremely flexible PVC rods and of a poly brush. This equipment is ideal for cleaning light-weight stainless steel all-flex liners. These rods and brushes navigate bends in flexible liners very easily. The rods and brushes in the photos below are very stiff, and can get caught up in a flex liner, and possibly rip the liner. They should not be used: