If you are busy, do not use your fireplace all the time, or you are simply not sure about what you are supposed to do, it is quite easy to fall behind on maintaining your fireplace. Unfortunately, not keeping your fireplace properly maintained can be dangerous.
With use, the gases, smoke, and particles from each fire that you burn will create buildup within the chimney. The residue left behind is creosote and it is a very flammable substance. When this builds up, it can cause the chimney to catch on fire.
When the buildup of creosote starts, it is easy to remove with a brush. However, if it builds up over time, it can be very difficult to remove. If it goes on for too long, the only way to remove it might be to have the liner completely replaced.
How Often Should You Have Your Chimney Inspected?
According to NFPA and CSIA, you should have your chimney inspected at least once per year. This can help detect possible issues and help to keep your family safe.
What Does a Chimney Inspection Consist of?
When you schedule an inspection for your chimney, the professional inspector will look over your chimney and note any obstructions, buildup, or structural issues. Additionally, they will typically sweep through the chimney to make sure that they have an accurate view of your system. The inspector will then recommend any work that they feel is necessary.
Depending on the chimney’s condition, there are three levels of inspection. The first level involves examining all of the portions of the chimney that can be easily accessed to make sure that they are all working properly. If you have not had any issues with your chimney, this will likely be the level of your yearly inspections.
The second level of the inspection typically involves the inspector using equipment such as a camera in order to look at the inside of your chimney. This allows them to look over all of the areas. This type of inspection is recommended if there have been any types of changes made to your chimney. If you are going to sell your home, you will have to have at least a level two inspection is done on your chimney before selling.
The final level is the most thorough inspection of every part of the chimney. This includes hidden or covered areas that require special tools to reach. In some cases, demolition and rebuilding areas of the chimney are required, depending on the type of work that needs to be done.
Choose a Qualified Professional
Many people feel like they can maintain their chimneys on their own and do not need to call in a professional. However, when it comes to a proper inspection, only a professional is qualified to fully clean and inspect a chimney to ensure that it remains safe for use. These professional chimney sweeps understand what to look for and often use cameras that are specifically designed to inspect chimneys.
Basic cleaning and inspection will typically cost anywhere from $79 to $200. A higher level inspection is going to be more. Level 2 inspections typically range from $100 to $500. A level 3 inspection is going to cost anywhere from $1000 to $5000.
It is important to make sure that you use a certified chimney sweep for your cleaning and inspection. Ask for credentials and how long they have been in business. If you are quoted a price that seems too good to be true, chances are that it is.