How to Clean a Chimney DIY
In most cases, one inspection every year before the fireplace’s first use is sufficient. Homeowners who use their fireplace very frequently may want to consider having their chimney inspected more often. Homeowners can search “chimney inspection near me” to find professionals in their area who can perform the inspection. Properly closing up a chimney involves closing and sealing the damper, installing a chimney cap damper, and sealing the fireplace opening with a door or bricks. The cost to seal and cap a chimney is around $500 to $650—significantly less than the average chimney removal cost. A gas fireplace with a chimney costs $80 to $150 to clean on average.
With that in mind, it’s essential that homeowners find out more about chimney removal before deciding on an appropriate course of action and budget for this project. If the chimney is rarely used or the homeowner is looking to upgrade to a more efficient fireplace, then it’s recommended that they remove the old chimney before it can cause any issues. Without routine inspections, cleanings, and necessary repairs, a chimney can fail, putting everyone in the home at risk.
Masonry chimney with a wood-burning fireplace (#mason)
These chimneys are also called mass-insulated chimneys since they are constructed using twin or double layers of metal, which, in most cases, is stainless steel. The purpose of the air is to circulate between the metal and dissipate all the heat.
It will cost more to remove and haul away the materials that make up a masonry chimney because of the significant weight difference between prefabricated and masonry chimney structures. Masonry chimneys are typically made with brick, stone, or concrete, increasing the effort it takes to dismantle the structure but also increasing the disposal costs. While local labor rates can fluctuate depending on the geographic location, homeowners can expect to pay about $50 per hour, per worker for a chimney removal crew. In most cases, the demolition crew will have at least two to three workers, so this means that the labor rates for chimney removal start at about $100 to $150 per hour. An unstable or unsafe chimney can cause structural problems that affect the whole house.
If the chimney sweep has difficulty reaching the chimney by ladder or safely getting to the chimney, the cost to clean it can go up. Chimney sweeping is best left to trained professionals who will be able to perform the job safely as well as identify any chimney issues. Additionally, professionals can ensure that all repairs are structurally sound. Working chimneys have many functional parts, and some of these parts cost more than others. Here are various parts or components and approximately how much it costs to repair them. Chimneys require extra finishing once repairs are complete, thus are typically the priciest to fix. Even with regular maintenance and cleaning, the chimney parts will inevitably begin to age and you might have to repair or replace them.
Damaged bricks or worn-out mortar may cause a chimney to leak.
A pro usually can do a Level 2 inspection in less than two hours. However, if you need a Level 3 inspection, this could take multiple days to complete because of the potential for needing to remove materials.
Cleaning the chimney from inside your fireplace is one of the messiest jobs imaginable, so it’s best left to professionals. That basic inspection—called a level one inspection—is typically included in the chimney sweep cost discussed in your quote.
To be able to run your fireplace safely and securely, though, you need to be willing to include the cost of a chimney inspection in your annual household budget. Depending on the complexity of the work required, expect to pay between $100 and $5,000, but the average chimney inspection costs about $450. The good news is that most chimney inspectors are also licensed as chimney sweeps and will clean the chimney at the same time. If when you scratch a finger against a chimney wall and uncover one-eighth of an inch of build-up, it’s time for a cleaning. However, budget-conscious DIYers willing to get up on a ladder can also clean their chimney without professional help by using a wide chimney brush. Excessive creosote buildup or debris in the chimney can lead to chimney fires.
Read more about Chimney Sweep Denver here.
Instead of paying for chimney demolition, the unused chimney can just be blocked, as long as it is done correctly. If the chimney is not properly blocked, moisture-related problems, like mold, mildew, and rot, can result. Additionally, blocked-off chimneys will still need to be maintained, cleaned, and vented. The CSIA provides a thorough guide on choosing the right wood and burning it safely in your fireplace or woodstove. Start by assessing the damage for broken mortar and brick joints, chunks of mortar missing, or aggregate falling out of the mortar. Also, now is the time to don safety glasses, work gloves, and a respirator for safety’s sake.
This material is highly durable but can dent during major storms. If you just need to replace the flashing on a metal chimney, this will typically cost around $300. Keep in mind, some contractors may charge more for projects above 10 feet. Brick chimney work might cost less if the location for repairs is closer to the ground. Repairing a single flue tile will likely cost no more than $200 if it’s easily accessible.