There is something wonderful about having a fireplace in your home. It offers a great place to snuggle up on a cold winter night. A fireplace also provides warmth throughout your home, which helps to cut costs on your heating bills during those really cold nights. If you have a fireplace in your home, it is important to make sure that you are keeping the chimney clean. Dirty chimneys can be quite dangerous as they pose a great fire risk.
Having your chimney serviced yearly is recommended. Here are 5 things that you should know and ask about before you hire someone to service your chimney for you.
1. How Much Does it Cost and How Long Will it Take?
One of the biggest questions that you might have about having your chimney serviced is the amount of money that it is going to cost. When you are contacting a professional chimney service, it is important to be direct about the costs. You want to make sure to ask if they are going to do a full inspection along with the cleaning or if they are just going to clean it out. It is important to know the types of services that you are getting for the estimate that you are given.
You will also want to make sure that you ask them how long it will take to service the chimney. Each flue is different, but a thorough cleaning of a chimney should take around an hour. If there is creosote present in your flue, the amount of time can increase. Blockages and damages to any part of the flue can also increase the amount of time it takes to service the chimney.
Most companies will recommend having a chimney cleaned about once per year. However, a professional will be able to estimate how long you can go between cleanings based on your particular uses.
2. How Will You Clean the Chimney?
A chimney professional should be able to provide you with the steps that they are going to take in order to clean the chimney. In addition, you should be given information about how your home will be protected during the entire service project.
3. Is Creosote Present?
When you are having your chimney serviced it is important to make sure that you ask if there is any creosote present. Creosote is a very flammable substance and if it is present in your chimney it could be indicative of poor burning practices. It also could mean that there is damage to your flue or chimney. You should be aware of creosote presence, how it will be removed, and what you need to do to help limit or prevent it from happening again.
4. Servicing other Flues
If you have other flues in your home, you might want to ask if the professionals can service these as well. You might be able to get a break in pricing for having more than one chimney/flue serviced at once.
A person may be very skilled at servicing chimneys and not have any type of certification. However, it can be comforting to know that when you hire a professional service, they are backed by certifications from F.I.R.E., CSIA, and NFI. These are all national institutes that will guarantee that the person servicing your chimney has been through proper training. There are also regional organizations that offer training and certifications as well.
Asking how long the company has been in business is another way to establish the type of experience the professional has.