It’s easy for a home owner to feel tempted into using a chimney winter after winter without ever having it inspected. Home owners might argue that the idea of getting a chimney inspected is hype that’s been created for the sake of making an extra buck, but that really isn’t true.
Chimney sweeps have been working to clean out chimneys since the Industrial Revolution. Back then they often worked in poor conditions and tended to fall ill as a result of the work they performed. Nowadays chimney sweeps have to necessary equipment to avoid the potential health risks associated with their profession, but it should be noted that the same health risks chimney sweeps faced long ago are among the problems you can face if your chimney is poorly maintained.
Why Inspect My Chimney?
As mentioned before, soot buildup in your chimney can cause illness, but perhaps more seriously, a chimney that isn’t functioning properly can release more carbon monoxide into your home than is safe. Carbon monoxide is a odorless gas which is a silent killer that has literally caused people to die in their sleep.
But there’s another reason you should have your chimney inspected on a regular basis. A chimney left without maintenance for too long greatly increases the risk of a chimney related fire in your home. Bird nests and other rubble can catch fire in your chimney, resulting in a fire that can cause a great amount of damage to your house. In the worst cases, chimney fires can burn down an entire house, even claiming lives. While many people might feel that a chimney inspection is too expensive, the cost of a chimney inspection is little compared to the safety of you and your family.
But what if a fire doesn’t claim any lives? How does the cost of having your chimney cleaned compare to house fire?
The Average Cost For Chimney Sweeping
Depending on the company you’ve asked and the kind of chimney inspection you’re getting, the cost of having your chimney inspected could vary. Prices for a basic chimney inspection start at anywhere from $100 to $250.
If there’s additional work that needs to be done, this price could go up quite a bit, even to as much as $500 for everything. While that might sound like a lot to pay for having your chimney inspected, the additional costs are usually for other things such as repairs. If you’ve been quoted a for a larger amount than you would’ve expected, you don’t have to just accept it without asking questions. If the company you’re working with deal professionally, your chimney sweep will be able to tell you exactly what the additional costs are for.
How Much Do House Fires Cost?
It’s much harder to know what a house fire would cost, but the average cost of a house fire tends to be about $4000. Which means that even if the average cost of a chimney inspection was $400, you’d be able to get your chimney inspected ten times before it would cost you the same amount as a house fire, but because the cost of an average chimney inspection will probably be closer to $200 rather than $400, you’ll be able to have your chimney inspected twenty times before it adds up to the cost of a house fire.
These numbers are only estimates, and the truth is that a more severe house fire can cost much more than even fifty chimney inspections. In cases where a house is burnt to the ground and nothing but rubble remains, you can expect to pay much more than $4000. In such cases you’d have to pay for the site to be cleaned after which you’d have to have a new house built and replace all your possessions. There’s no way of knowing what that would cost for certain, as it will vary from one individual to another, but there’s no doubt that it would be very expensive.
Even in a small house fire, you’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do. Furniture will need to be deodorized to remove the smell of smoke. If damaged to any plumbing lines occurred, you’ll also have to have wet areas dried. On top of all those things, you’ll need a proper cleanup to be done to remove any soot the fire left behind. Only once you those tasks have been performed will you be able to turn your attention to repairing the area damaged in a fire.
Repairing fire damage doesn’t only hurt your wallet, it’s also time consuming and in many cases there’s stress and some trauma related ti this. When comparing the effort associated with fire damage repair to the ease of maintaining your chimney properly, the cost of an annual chimney inspection is definitely a worthwhile investment.
On top of all those things, one of the best benefits of having your chimney inspected is that it will give you peace of mind to know that your chimney is safe for use when winter arrives.