Any chimney that is used frequently will require maintenance, and after a while, a few repairs. Unfortunately, even if money is tight, you should not leave repairs until the next year. This can decrease the efficiency and pose a risk to your family as well.
Estimating Repair Costs
First, it is important to note that a maintenance visit from a chimney sweep may not involve any type of repairs. So you should distinguish between basic maintenance, and dealing with damage to any part of the structure. Some people choose to handle basic cleaning of their own chimneys. This is not discouraged, but you will not be able to carry out the detailed job a chimney sweep is capable of. Plus, most people might not be able to spot minor signs of damage which can lead to expensive repairs in just a few months.
The cost of a basic sweeping of the chimney can range between $150 to $300. The cost depends on the extent of the creosote buildup. If you have neglected your chimney, your cleaning costs may be a little higher. The chimney sweep will also carry out an inspection, and this will reveal the need for any repairs. If the flashing needs work, this can cost up to $400 on average. Flashing should always be in good shape to prevent leaks which can cause damage to the interior.
Due to heat from inside and exposure to weather, the chimney can lose some of the mortar between the bricks. Putting in new mortar can cost a little under $200, but the damage may be extensive enough to force you to spend much more. If your chimney has no cap, or you need a new one, the can cost between $150 to $300.
In the case of a chimney fire, or major structural damage, you will be faced with a complete rebuilding. The cost to do this usually starts around $1000. This is a large figure, but you can avoid this by getting annual inspections and carrying out repairs quickly.
With these prices in mind, you should be cautious when offered much lower figures for chimney services. Like other professions, chimney sweeping is not without its share of frauds or unlicensed persons. Going for the cheapest service provider can endanger your home and your family.
Give me a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re not sure whether you need to worry about chimney maintenance. One of the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service can inspect your chimney to make sure it’s properly serviced each year.