When is the Right Time to Hire a Chimney Sweeper?
Homeowners in Connecticut should consider hiring a chimney sweeper for cleaning and inspection during the summer season, particularly when prices are cheaper and scheduling a service is much easier because of the lower demand.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends an annual inspection of chimneys, unless there are unexpected problems that would require more frequent inspections. The average cost of a chimney sweep in Connecticut may range between $100 and $300, while an inspection may cost from $45 to $85. Some factors such as your location will affect the overall price.
Choosing a Service Provider
One way to know about the qualifications of a chimney sweeper requires you to check the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s list. A safety-certified professional should be among the things to consider when choosing a service provider, aside from customer service and price. Ask for references from previous clients, instead of just relying on information from their website.
While you could do chimney sweep by yourself, this could be a risky job due to the risk of slips and falls. Another reason to hire a contractor involves a trained eye for spotting problems during an inspection, including creosote build-up from a wood-burning fireplace. This serves as one reason for poor indoor air quality.
If you need to do some repairs like replacing the lining or exterior siding, it is better to ask for quotes from at least three different professionals. Take note that this is different from a project estimate. When a professional provides a quote for their services, there is already a contract for everything and you do not have to worry about unexpected costs, unlike an estimate that may change during the actual work.
Managing Your Expenses
In case your contractor discovers a damaged chimney liner, it may cost up to $2,000 for a replacement. Liners protect your house from chimney fires that occur if you hear loud popping noises from the chimney. Creosote build-up will cause a fire in most cases when its thickness measures more than one-fourth to one-eighth of an inch. Remember that using unseasoned wood causes a faster build-up of creosote. The same applies to those who use green wood.
Even when you do not have any problems with creosote, it is possible that birds and insects have built a nest inside the chimney. This is another reason to have a chimney inspection to avoid killing animals and cause a foul smell. Their burnt remains could be hard to remove sometimes, so you could end up paying more than necessary when you leave the chimney unprotected. Some of the available solutions include a new chimney cap installation to prevent anything from going inside. You should expect to spend between $100 and $200 for a cap replacement.
A chimney sweep and inspection is not just necessary during summer or fall, but also when you plan to buy a house. Contractors charge different rates for their services, so you should shop around for quotes from at least three professionals before hiring the right one.