A chimney in your home can add a lot of charm to the property while also making it possible for you to have a fireplace, which can add ambiance as well. While a chimney is quite durable and can last for a long time, they do require some maintenance and care from time to time to keep them in good condition.
One service that you will eventually need is a chimney sweep. It is important to understand why a chimney sweep is necessary and to also have a sense of what a professional chimney sweep service could cost. This article will provide insight into the value and need for this service and what you could expect to pay.
Do I Really Need a Chimney Sweep?
If you have a home that has a chimney, it is very important that you keep it in good condition and have a professional chimney sweep done from time to time. When a chimney is used regularly, it will start to accumulate soot, creosote, and other blockages. This could end up creating a hazard for you.
If these items continue to build up, they could eventually make it harder for the smoke to pass through the chimney. This could then force the smoke back down and through your home.
Additionally, when you do not have your chimney swept, the built-up hazards could actually catch fire. This could then create a very hazardous situation and lead to significant damage. The main purpose of a chimney sweep is to remove the soot, creosote, and other hazards from the chimney, damper, and smoke chamber.
This will ensure better airflow and keep the chimney safe to use. Ideally, you should have your chimney inspected at least once per year. Based on your situation, the inspector may recommend sweeping out the chimney just as frequently.
How Much Should a Chimney Sweep Cost?
While receiving a chimney sweep regularly is very important as it could help to keep you and your family safe and reduce the risk of fire, it is still natural to want to know what the final cost of the service will be. A chimney sweep will normally come with a couple of different services, which includes the chimney inspection and the chimney sweep itself.
Most of the time, the initial chimney inspection will start at around $100 but could increase to around $250. The variability of the inspection is based on a variety of factors including the type and size of chimney you have, how accessible the chimney is to be inspected, your location, and even the time of the year.
However, you are often able to receive the chimney inspection for free if you agree to pay for a sweep or repair from the same service provider. It is important that you receive a full quote in advance of the service so you know what your final costs will be.
If you need a chimney sweep and cleaning, the entire service will normally range up to around $250 as well. This could include all the cleaning services that you need to clear out the chimney and remove all soot and other items. This usually will require that they use specialized equipment and other products. If there are issues beyond the need of cleaning services, the costs of the chimney repairs could be higher depending on the scope of the work that needs to be done.
Do You Tip the Chimney Sweep Guy?
A chimney sweep is a very valuable service that someone can provide to you. Due to this, it is natural to wonder if you should be tipping for the work that is done. In general, you should consider a chimney sweep, inspection, or repair professional to be a skilled person. Similar to a craftsman, plumber, or electrician, you should not feel the need to tip for this service as the individuals should be well compensated already.
However, while tipping for a chimney sweep may not be very common or necessary, it does not mean that you cannot tip the professional. If you feel that you have received great service or were able to get someone out right away during an emergency, you should consider tipping a bit for the great care and service that you received.
Can I Sweep My Own Chimney?
Receiving a professional chimney sweep service and inspection from a certified and insured professional is ideal. However, there are situations when you could complete the job on your own if you are physically capable of doing so.
The main determining point as to whether you can do the job on your own is how much soot and creosote have built up. If the soot is less than one-eighth of an inch thick and is not shiny, you should be able to handle it on your own. If it is thicker or is shiny, it could be quite hazardous and should be left to a professional.
If you choose to clean the chimney on your own, you first need to gather the right equipment from Chimney Draft Doctor. You will need to get a chimney brush and connectible rods that can reach up to the top of your chimney. For those with a metal chimney liner, you should get a brush with plastic bristles. If you have a clay liner, you should get a metal brush.
You also need to ensure your home is prepared. Due to the mess that can be caused, you should cover the nearby space with plastic or a tarp and have a shop vacuum available. Once the room is prepared, you should be able to start scrubbing the chimney liner.
This should result in soot and creosote coming off. You should start at the top and work your way back down. Throughout the process, you should stop to examine your work with a flashlight and ensure all soot is properly cleaned up before moving onto the next section of your chimney.
Article Submitted By Community Writer