Remember, regular professional chimney sweeping is essential for maintaining a safe and efficient chimney. But by this time, you should have already arranged to get your annual chimney inspection and cleaning—whether you own a gas or oil-burning appliance or a traditional fireplace. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep is the only professional ready to take on the job and you can get this done even before the first leaves fall. Costs for chimney sweeping can depend on the type of fireplace. The most common fireplaces are gas fireplaces, pellet stoves, wood-burning fireplaces, and wood stoves.
Repairing or Replacing a Chimney Flue
Burning well-seasoned, dry wood is one way to minimize creosote production. (Green wood burns at a cooler temperature, producing more combustion byproducts and colder smoke that’s more likely to condense in the flue. Many people are attracted by the looks of a fireplace but know little about the maintenance and upkeep. For health and safety, it’s worth knowing how often it’s necessary to sweep the chimney—and what could happen otherwise. Chimney sweeping is best left to trained professionals who will be able to perform the job safely as well as identify any chimney issues.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney inspected at least once a year. In most cases, the start of the season or right at the end of the summer is your best bet. If you light a fire every night from October to April, bring in a pro midway through the season to check for creosote buildup. You may also need a chimney inspected if you’re selling or buying a home, detect an issue with your chimney, or recently had some extreme weather. How hard will it be for the chimney sweep to access your chimney?
There is one type of chimney that could most likely be cleaned by the homeowner, though. It has an installed insert in the fireplace with a properly sized liner. To clean, insert the brush into the fireplace and flue and sweep up to the top. The combustion process deposits an acidic material that weakens masonry or metal chimneys, causing them to deteriorate prematurely. A significant buildup of creosote may catch fire and spread to the attic and other areas of the home. A Level 1 visual inspection typically gets included with your chimney cleaning, while Level 2 inspections can assess major storm damage for an extra $200 to $1,000.
Word of mouth is also a great tool for local experts like these, particularly since many families use the same chimney sweeps for years, if not decades. You don’t need to tip chimney sweeps because it’s not standard practice for contractors. However, they’re usually grateful for a tip, drink, or snack during a difficult job. Chimney type – The total cleaning cost depends on the type of chimney, its total size, and how many appliances connect to the flue. The design of prefab chimneys is for ambience and not for a primary source of home heating. You must avoid burning large quantities of wood or making large fires that can damage the firebox.
Soot can build up inside these chimneys just as much as they can with wood-burning ones, which can cause chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. In order words—set a reminder on your calendar for the end of the summer and don’t skip this step. The answer depends on a number of factors, including how often it’s used, what kind of fuel you’re burning, and even what material your flue is made from. Smoke in the house indicates that the flue is not functioning correctly. Noises such as clicking, popping, or rumbling might mean a chimney fire. Damp or discolored ceilings and walls by the fireplace, water in the firebox, or foul odors could be a sign of damaged flashing or a damaged chimney cap.
Read more about Fireplace Cleaning Littleton here. Interior walls need to be opened, at times, or portions of the fireplace deconstructed to further assess. The cost to clean your own chimney starts at $65 for a basic chimney cleaning kit and ranges up to $110. The cost to repair or install chimney flashing starts at $205 and ranges up to $560. Repairing or installing chimney flashing costs $380, on average. Gas burning fireplaces are more commonly found than wood burning fireplaces in most areas. They burn cleaner than wood burning fireplaces and require the least amount of cleaning. A level three chimney inspection begins at around $650 and goes up to $5,000.
Shine your light into the smoke chamber and flue and use the poker to scratch the surface. If the soot has a matte black finish and the scratch is 1/8 in. But if the buildup is deeper or has a shiny, tar-like appearance, you have heavy creosote buildup.
By maintaining your fireplace in between professional cleanings, you reduce the amount of buildup that can occur, which makes the cleaning easier, faster, and cheaper. We have covered when you should use a professional chimney sweep in several places in this project, however here they are in summary.