Chimney cleaning might sound like a do-it-yourself job, and it certainly can be – if you have the professional tools, knowledge, and expertise to do the job safely and correctly. But if you don’t have those tools, or have not been trained as a chimney sweep, it’s likely best to call a professional. Here are some important reasons why:
#1 – Experience
Though chimney sweeping may sound as simple as sticking a brush down into the chimney to loosen up soot and debris, but the truth is that it’s actually quite involved. No two chimneys are ever exactly the same. When you hire a professional to sweep your chimney, that technician’s years of experience will undoubtedly keep you and your family safe, especially when you consider that he or she will likely inspect your chimney in the process. It’s even better if you can hire a chimney sweep who’s CSIA-certified as they’ve proven their knowledge with an exam.
#2 – Fix Problems Early On
Unless you’ve worked in the chimney industry for years and you’ve seen every potential problem that could exist, there’s a very good chance that you could look at a potentially serious issue while cleaning out your chimney and never even realize it. When you hire a professional, you’re getting someone who can simply look at a chimney and pick out a potential issue right away. This means he or she can recommend a fix, and it’s likely to cost you less now than it will in the future when it really wreaks havoc on your home.
#3 – Save Money
Though you’ll spend more money initially by hiring a professional to sweep your chimney, if he or she does happen to find an issue, you could potentially save thousands – or even tens of thousands – of dollars by getting that issue handled early on. If you fail to notice a leak, for example, and it goes untreated for months, the resulting water damage could lead to significant rot and $10,000 worth of repairs. However, if you’d called a professional, those same repairs may have cost an extra $100 on top of the cost of cleaning.
#4 – Access to Tools
Believe it or not, a professional chimney sweep utilizes expensive top-notch tools to do a good job when it comes to cleaning and inspecting your chimney. State-of-the-art power tools are sometimes required – especially if there’s an abundance of creosote buildup – and high-tech camera systems allow the pros to get a good close look at the inner workings of your chimney during an inspection, too. These tools are very expensive, as well, which means they are only common among professionals.
#5 – Insurance
Many homeowners’ insurance policies require you to provide proof of chimney and fireplace maintenance if you ever need to file a claim for a chimney or house fire and failing to provide that proof could be detrimental to your claim. Hiring a team of certified professionals to maintain your chimney in a timely and routine fashion is vitally important for this reason alone. What’s more, professionals are covered by their own private insurance if they are injured on the job, so you can put your own safety and health first.
If you have ever wondered about whether it would save you money to sweep your chimney yourself, the five reasons above should prove otherwise. For the best possible results, hire a company with CSIA-certified chimney sweeps to further ensure a job well done.