Safety experts recommend yearly cleaning and inspections for chimneys

Jim Cunningham
October 01, 2018 - 8:15 am

Autumn air has arrived and it won't be long before people feel like a cozy night in front of the fireplace, but that can be dangerous without proper cleaning and maintenance

Homeowners commonly ignore the need to inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys, said Jeremy Biswell, president of Flues Brothers Chimney and Fireplace in Kansas City, Kansas.

According to a 2016 report from the National Fire Protection Association, failure to clean a chimney was a leading factor in home heating fires. Chimneys should be cleaned and inspected at least once a year, Biswell said. Chimneys can be damaged by weather, creosote can build up and increase the risk of a chimney firse and the heat can eventually weaken the chimney.

"Our beginning process, just the inspection alone, is going to take an hour to an hour and a half, or more," Biswell said. "A cleaning process is typically between two to two and a half hours. It's very intensive. We do about a 100-point checklist and we also take photos of the interior and exterior of the chimney."

The best thing you can do when searching for the right company is to verify that it's a legitimate company and that they are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, Biswell said. Schedules fill up fast this time of year, so it's important to get the fireplace inspection and chimney cleaning done soon.

According to Angie's List an inspection can run between $100 and $250. Chimney cleanings typically cost $100 to $350.

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