When it comes to your home, you may be tempted to let things go as the years go by. You may take less care to get the weekly chores done. You may let the grass grow a few more days between each clipping. You may even schedule important maintenance for every other year instead of the necessary annual appointment. When it comes to being a homeowner—a responsible homeowner—it’s important to maintain your investment properly. This means scheduling services with qualified professionals regularly. Scheduling maintenance for your chimney system helps your system to work better and protects your home from serious damage and unsafe conditions. To help your chimney work safely and efficiently, schedule a chimney sweep and inspection this fall.
Why Chimney Maintenance is Important
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) agree that there are two key factors that make the safest and most efficient chimney systems: routine sweeps and annual inspections. It may be that homeowners neglect to schedule these services because they think they’re going to be too expensive or they aren’t sure which service to schedule in the first place. Both these issues can be cleared up right now!
The more your chimney is maintained, the cheaper it is to maintain. Imagine your teeth. When you take the time to brush your teeth twice daily, floss once daily, and visit the dentist every year for your cleaning and check-up, you’ll spend less money on costly repairs like root canals, fillings, whitening, etc. Failing to schedule maintenance actually costs more in the long run! As for the other, the service you need will be determined by what services you’ve had and how your chimney is performing.
Chimney Services Explained
The chimney sweep can often be confused with a chimney inspection because most basic chimney sweeps also include a basic level one inspection. Both are important services and scheduling a chimney sweep annually means you kill two birds with one stone. The chimney system gets a thorough cleaning and an inspection for general soundness in one affordable appointment. How much does it cost? According to Home Advisor, a chimney sweep service runs between $127 and $356 depending on where you live. For chimney systems that are maintained regularly, the cost of a sweep rarely exceeds $100.
What is a Chimney Sweep?
A chimney sweep is a thorough cleaning of the chimney system using specialized tools to reach hard-to-reach spaces and an industrial vacuuming system to contain the mess. Your technician will protect your furniture and flooring with drop cloths and leave your home the way they found it. Using brushes and rods, we remove soot and creosote from the flue interior, remove ash from the firebox, and complete a basic level one inspection.
Benefits of a sweep: no smoky or difficult-to-light fires, a decreased risk of flue fire or carbon monoxide exposure, no odors between fires and during the off-season, and an assurance that the system is safe for use for another year.
What is a Chimney Inspection?
There are three levels to a CSIA inspection in order to not waste our customers’ time and money or our company’s resources. When you start the scheduling process with a professional, we’ll help you determine which inspection you need. Many homeowners don’t realize that they don’t need an inspection in addition to a chimney sweep because the level one inspection is included in the sweep! This is the most cost-effective way to have your chimney serviced. However, there are other reasons to have an inspection and this will determine the level of inspection, as well as the cost and the effect it will have on your home.
- Level One: A level one inspection is required annually to maintain the highest efficiency and safety of your chimney system. This is the inspection that is scheduled when there are no problems or concerns with your system and when there have been no changes made to the system. A level one inspection ensures the chimney is safe and sound for another year of use, in the same manner, it’s been used. It includes a visual inspection of all readily accessible portions of the chimney as well as a check for obstructions in the flue.
- Level Two: A level two inspection is required before a property is transferred or sold, after a natural disaster may cause damage (tornado, earthquake, fire, etc.), when a problem or hazard is suspected, or when a change is made to the system. This inspection includes a video scan of the hidden portions of the system (the entire flue interior) and all accessible portions of the chimney by way of basement, attic, and crawlspace doorways and passages.
- Level Three: A level three inspection is required when a hazard is suspected in a lesser-level inspection. It is the last resort, is more expensive, and usually requires minor or major demolition to gain access to the suspected hazard. Your technician may have to remove portions of the masonry or wall panels to find, assess, and repair the hazard. This inspection will usually result in a repair. None of this work is done without prior explanation and homeowner approval!
Chimney Services in Porter, LaPorte, and Lake Counties
If you reside in Valparaiso and neighboring communities and have a home or business with a chimney system, choose Northwest Fireplace and Chimney for all of your comprehensive chimney care. We are a team of certified chimney sweeps offering affordable chimney sweeps and inspections year-round. Schedule now and ensure your system is safe and ready for use this winter. There is not a moment to lose!
Call 219-413-2349 or request an appointment online.