How Much Does a Chimney and Fireplace Inspection Cost?
A chimney and fireplace inspection is something that is vital to your family’s health and well-being. Every year, a homeowner should have their chimney and fireplace inspected to make sure that the fireplace is performing the way it should. If a fireplace is not up to par, there could be carbon monoxide concerns, putting your family at risk. A fireplace used to be a symbol of a higher status, especially a wood burning fireplace instead of gas. However, recent studies and heath research has shown that burning wood in a fireplace can be hazardous to your health and to the environment. Getting your fireplace and chimney inspected to ensure it is properly ventilated can help reduce the risk to you and your loved ones.
How much is it?
- The cost of a chimney and fireplace inspection is going to depend on the type of inspection, chimney, geographical location and the contractor you choose. On average, a chimney and fireplace inspection can cost anywhere from $75 to as much as $500. The simpler the inspection is, the less you are going to pay. Basic inspections should be around $75 to $150. To get multiple quotes in your area, refer to HomeAdvisor.com.
- For example, Closing.com states that the average inspection could cost $50 to $130. If you need a chimney sweep, add another $50 to $75.
- WNDU.com says the average inspection and cleaning will be about $150.
What is going to be included?
- A chimney inspection is generally broken down into three levels that are designated by the National Fire Protection Association. The first level, which tends to be the cheapest, will be when the inspector visually checks the fireplace and chimney for any sort of obvious damage. Using a flashlight, he will look for obstructions, creosote buildup, and soot. If you have experienced an earthquake or weather event, a second-level inspection may be required. This level will often include a visual and video inspection, plus a visit to the roof, attic and crawl space to asses any other damage. A level-three inspection is an inspection designed for chimneys and fireplaces that have been destroyed. These type of jobs will often require a rebuild.
What are the extra costs?
- If the chimney needs a sweep, additional fees can apply. SEE: “How much does a chimney sweep cost?“
- Chimneys and fireplaces with damage will require reassembly, which can get into the thousands depending on the damage done.
- Repairs outside of the sweep can be extra costs to think about. The costs will depend on the repairs that need to be done. The repairs may include repointing, relining, sealing a crown, installing chimney caps, replacing cracked panels, installing a new damper, and waterproofing.
Tips to know:
- When choosing an inspector, always make sure the company is certified by the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) and NFI (National Fireplace Institute). Also find out how long the company has been in business and how long the technician that is coming to your home has been inspecting. If possible, request references and see if there are any active complaints on the Better Business Bureau.
- There are two main reasons that burning wood in a fireplace can be dangerous.
- Personal health. Many doctors and studies have reported that burning wood in a fireplace can release the same air pollutants as smoking a cigarette. Someone who already has breathing issues can be greatly affected by this as can small children. The cleaner your chimney and fireplace are, the less pollutants will be released into the air.
- While fireplaces used to be considered environmentally friendly since it is free and natural to heat your home this way, the EPA is now calling for a change to gas or electric fireplaces instead. The build up of soot and residue in the chimney can cause toxins and pollutants to be released into the air, adding to pollution problems we are already facing.
- Before you purchase a home with a fireplace, always get a chimney inspection. While you may already getting a home inspection, make sure that the company you are working with has experience.
- Even if you have a gas fireplace, an inspection is still required. Chimneys can still get clogged with debris and as the chimney ages, the structure itself can start to fall apart.
- Be aware of scams. The chimney inspection industry is known for scam artists. If someone comes to your door claiming to be a professional, it is best that you avoid this company and do the research yourself.
- Try to get your chimney inspected annually.
- If your fireplace has a sooty smell, is being converted, or it has been longer than 10 years since the last inspections, it is probably best to call up a professional.
How can I save money?
- If buying a new home, see if the seller will pay for the inspection. While most will say no, it never hurts to ask.
- With any professional hiring, always make sure that you try to get at least three to five quotes before proceeding.