$59 Chimney Sweep: What is the deal with the $59 chimney sweep? O.K. READ VERY CAREFULLY because the chimney sweep business can be a little confusing.
- Half of the chimneys we service are prefabricated chimneys which usually have vinyl siding on the outside. We clean these chimneys from the firebox and run a soft brush to the top of the liner. This is a great example of a chimney sweep that is a $59 chimney sweep.
- Another type of chimney that is a $59 chimney sweep is a masonry chimney that has a top sealing cap damper or has a clean out door. These chimneys have the ability to clean the chimney from the fireplace, like the prefabricated chimneys. These are basically code compliant chimneys. The specific building code is R1003.17: Masonry Chimneys shall have clean out openings with an exception is that the chimneys can be cleaned from the fireplace opening.
With a prefabricated fireplace, if you clean the chimney from the fireplace opening, the soot falls down into firebox. Works great! With a masonry chimney that has a cleanout opening that is required by code then you can open the clean out opening and clean all the soot that was brushed out of the flue liner. If you have a cap damper then you can clean the liner, and take a vacuum and easily vacuum off the smoke shelf where all the soot fell. But if you have a damper that blocks this procedure, then what do you do. You can’t properly get the soot that was swept from the liner because the damper blocks this part of the cleaning. Many chimney sweeps ignor this process and do a improper job cleaning your chimney. That is why you can still smell creosote after they leave.
So – what do we do? In order to properly clean a chimney, the damper plate, arm and cotter pin needs to be removed to allow for access for cleaning. Many times this is a difficult task because the cotter pins are likely rusted and bent out of shape. Sometimes we will take a grinder and cut the cotter pin to remove it. We have plenty of cotter pins and we always replace them with new ones. The cost to perform this service is an extra $100.
SO WHY NOT JUST SAY IT’S $159 to have our chimney sweep? Is this a bait and switch. The answer is no because of
- 50% of chimneys are prefab! Why charge them more for an easier job.
- By charging $59 to clean a chimney, it makes our competition perform the same service we provide. This prevents them from cutting corners and educates our customers that the chimney technicians must remove the damper to perform a proper cleaning. Trust me, you have never had your damper plate removed to meet this modern code. Sweeps may say they will remove it but have them show you the metal plate as they clean your chimney. We remove this plate with all our cleanings.
- It helps our customers know about top mount cap dampers. They are very energy efficient, improves draft, decreases creosote build up and are much easier to clean. We have sold so many of these dampers that we want to discount the chimney cleaning service to our customers who have these installed because they are now code compliant regarding cleaning through the fireplace.
FREE INSPECTIONS? Yes, for the next month or two, we are actually offering free chimney inspections. The reason why we offer these free inspections is that we want happy clients. You may call us and think you are going to pay for a $59 chimney sweep and then you are mad because we are charging you$100 more. It actually costs more if it is a rotary damper but not many people have rotary dampers. These people really need to have cap dampers installed. But I am getting off the subject. We offer free inspections right now to educate our customers regarding the condition of their chimney, the building codes we are required to follow and what services we provide. If you are not paying anything, then you should not be mad at us educating you on the condition of your chimney. And we only like happy customers.