10 Questions To Ask When You’re
Getting Your Chimney Cleaned
1. What will you do to clean the
Your chimney professional should be able to give you a step
by step description of how he plans to clean your chimney and what he will do
to protect your household during the cleaning process.
2. Is there just soot in the chimney
or is there creosote, too?
Creosote is a highly flammable substance and its presence in
your chimney can ignite causing a chimney fire. The presence of creosote in the
chimney may indicate poor burning practices or a burning appliance that is not
working well. In either case you should know of its presence, how the chimney
professional will remove it, and what can be done to prevent or limit the
presence of creosote in the chimney going forward. Soot on the other hand is a
safe substance as long as it is removed before its accumulation interferes with
draft. It is, in most cases, easily brushed away.
3. Can you inspect/clean other flues
in my house besides the fireplace?
professionals will give price breaks when more than one chimney or flue will be
inspected/cleaned. If you’re having a chimney professional come to clean your
fireplace flue, it’s probably a good idea to have them take a look at your
furnace/water heater flues as well.
4. How long will it take?
Every flue is different, but on average a thorough cleaning
should take about 25 minutes to 35 minutes. This time can increase
substantially if there is creosote present in your flue, if the flue is damaged
in any way, or if there are blockages such as birds’ nests. If your chimney
cleaning requires more time it’s good to ask and understand why.
5. Do you inspect the chimney, too?
We recommend you have your flue inspected with each
cleaning. A thorough inspection can alert you to possible unsafe conditions in
6. How often should I have my chimney
Your chimney professional can make a reasonable estimation
for time between cleanings based on your individual burning practices.
7. How much do you charge?
Be sure to understand what you are getting for your money,
i.e. inspection and cleaning, or just a cleaning.
8. Do you have Insurance?
Your chimney sweep company that you hire should provide you
with a copy of their insurance papers before performing any work on your home.
9. How long have you been in
This is a good way to establish what level of experience
your chimney professional has.
10. Will you have to go on the roof?
Some chimney pros clean from the top down, some clean from
the bottom up. There is no one preferred method. In either case it’s good to
know what their procedure will be.
North Coast Masonry