The chimney is an often neglected part of a home. Dirty chimneys are a dangerous fire hazard that can destroy your home and harm the people inside. House fires caused by chimney fires are rare, but a chimney fire can do substantial damage to a chimney. A subsequent fire in this damaged chimney can be devastating. Annual chimney sweep cost should be a part of a household budget, for any home that has a chimney. Clean chimneys are safe, because certain conditions must exist for a chimney fire to start. First, there must be an adequate buildup of creosote. Creosote is the natural by-product of burning wood, and it will ignite at temperatures over 800 degrees. In fact, 25% of all residential fires are caused by a buildup of creosote. It can also block the air flow through the chimney which can in turn cause carbon monoxide to enter the home.
Groups like the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommend that chimneys be swept annually. During this inspection, a certified chimney sweep can also conduct a basic inspection of the chimney for safety. Damaged flues can cause a backup of carbon monoxide into the home. Damaged liners inside the chimney can be a fire hazard. Plus damaged chimney flashing (this is the lining on the base of the outside of the chimney, where it attaches to the roof) can allow water to leak through the roof and damage the ceiling below. Chimney sweep cost will often include the price of the basic inspection. When looking for someone to clean your chimney, ask whether their chimney sweep prices including an inspection as well. To make sure your chimney is safe to use, have it swept and inspected every year, by one of the over 1900 professional chimney sweeps, who are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Certified Chimney Sweep Prices
Chimney sweep cost varies depending on the type of chimney and fireplace in the home. The level of inspection that might be included will also help determine the chimney cleaning cost. Nationwide, chimney cleaning cost runs from $79 to $200. Chimney sweep cost for a freestanding wood burning stove with a liner runs from $110 to $210. For a wood burning stove insert with a liner, the chimney cleaning cost is $110 to $150.
An annual chimney cleaning is essential to the safety of a home. But, chimney sweep prices might not include the inspection. There are three levels of chimney inspections. A Level 1 inspection is an inspection of the readily accessible portions of the chimney. This inspection will add $65 to the chimney sweep cost, and is only recommended for chimneys that are under continued maintenance. A Level 2 inspection will increase the chimney sweep price by $195. This inspection is required upon the sale or transfer of the home, and can include a video inspection of the chimney liner. A Level 3 inspection is necessary when other inspections indicate that a structural problem might be present, and can increase the chimney cleaning cost by $245 or more.
How To Chimney Sweep
If you are looking to save on chimney sweep prices by cleaning your own, you should be able to go to your local rental store to rent the equipment you need. You will need to lay down drop cloths around the fireplace. Remove the grate and any debris out of the fire box, and lay a sheet inside to make clean up easier. Close the fire box to keep debris contained inside. Go on the roof with a flashlight and the cleaning rod and brushes. Place the brush inside the chimney and push it down a short distance, then twist it as you pull it back up. This pushing and twisting will loosen the creosote. Do this until you get all the way to the bottom. When you are done, wait a few hours for the soot to settle. Then, open the fire box. Fold the sheet over, containing the debris, and remove it. Then, use a shop vacuum to clean the rest of the debris. Now, you can replace the grate. This small investment in rental equipment has just saved you quite a bit on chimney cleaning cost.
Cleaning and maintaining the fireplace and chimney are important parts of home safety. Chimney sweep cost, although it might be as much as $200 annually, is an investment in the safety of you family as well. Do not be stingy with chimney sweep cost if your chimney has not been cleaned or inspected in over a year. Chimney cleanings are an important way to prevent house fires, and chimney sweep prices are much less than the cost of replacing your home should it be lost to a catastrophic fire.
Chimney Sweep Tools
Professionally certified chimney sweeps use a variety of tools for the job. Among these is a respirator, which might be the most important piece of chimney sweep equipment. This is important due to the soot and ash that can come loose during the cleaning. An ash vacuum will contain any ash or other residue from the cleaning. Drop cloths will be used to protect the area immediately surrounding the fireplace. A chimney camera might also be used to look for cracks in the liner. A chimney sweep brush and rod set can often be found at a home improvement retail store. A chimney sweep log can be used at home and when burned in the fireplace can help reduce creosote buildup. Fireplace cleaning logs can be purchased at most home improvement stores, or online.
Many people will choose to save on fireplace cleaning cost by cleaning their own chimneys. This is not a good idea unless the chimney has been recently professionally cleaned and inspected. Do it yourselfers can purchase a brush and rod set for around $30 for a masonry chimney. Sets to clean a metal chimney can be as much as $10 more. Cleaning your own chimney will cut down substantially on annual chimney sweep cost.