The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that homeowners have chimneys, fireplaces and vents inspected at least once a year to make sure they’re sound and free of deposits that would hamper the flow of air or smoke moving up and outside the home. It’s also a matter of safety: The NFPA reports that 30 percent of fires caused by fireplaces result from failure to clean the chimney. Chimney sweeping companies inspect chimneys, fireplaces and possibly even the vents that make up an HVAC system to ensure that they’re free of debris and working properly. These professionals can also inspect and clean clothes dryer vents and ducts, another common cause of home fires. On average, the nationwide cost for chimney cleaning is $80–$150. Chimney service companies typically offer a cleaning and inspection together for a flat fee, unless there are mitigating circumstances.
Like many other tradespeople, chimney sweeps offer flat rates for cleaning and inspection. DNG Complete Home Improvement, SNG Chimney Sweep and Xtreme Chimney Sweeps all will clean and inspect chimneys for for $89–$120.
Repairs and maintenance
DNG Complete Home Improvement charges $99 for cleaning. The company offers free estimates for chimney repairs and typically charge $99 to install a chimney cap, not including the cost of materials. SNG Chimney Sweep can take care of a wide range of masonry repair, brick repair, tuck pointing, back walls, fireplace floor repair and crown repair. Prices vary based on the extent of the repair.
Fireplace or wood-burning stove
Chimney professionals typically clean chimneys on both fireplaces and wood stoves for about the same price.
The purpose of a chimney liner is to ensure that heat (and fire) stay contained in the fireplace and chimney, to protect the masonry from the corrosive byproducts of combustion, and to make sure the fireplace or woodstove has the proper size flue for maximum efficiency. Liners are typically made of heat-tolerant materials such as clay, ceramic or metal. Keeping your chimney clean and in working order is key because replacing a chimney liner can cost $2,500–$5,000.
Some chimney sweeps are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), which offers training and certification in chimney cleaning and repair.
Gas fireplaces do not create the same soot and creosote buildup as wood-burning fireplaces do, but professionals still recommend that chimneys be inspected every year.
Keeping chimneys capped, clean, and free of cracks and leaks prevents problems of water damage and litter getting in, which, in turn, will decrease the likelihood of developing bigger, more expensive problems.