Keeping your chimney clean and in good condition helps ensure that you’re able to use it safely. Having a clean chimney is also an important part of making sure your insurance company covers any damage that occurs if you have a chimney fire. Since cleaning your chimney on your own can be dangerous, it’s best to use professional chimney sweeping services. Find out more about chimney sweeping insurance and the importance of maintaining a clean chimney.
Benefits of Chimney Cleaning
A clean chimney goes a long way toward lowering the risk of a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, failing to clean chimneys and other sources of solid-fueled heating equipment accounts for roughly 27 percent of home heating fires. When you use your fireplace, smoke, fumes, and toxic particles should be able to flow through your chimney and out of your home. Over time, a substance called creosote builds up inside your chimney. As creosote accumulates, it can end up sparking a fire if heat and embers come into contact with it.
Cleaning your chimney also helps lower the risk of carbon monoxide leaks, which are also a danger to you and your family. These leaks can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, a potentially life-threatening illness that requires emergency medical care.
Having a professional chimney sweep clean your chimney also helps reduce the risk of needing repairs. In some cases, failing to clean your chimney can lead to expensive repairs and make it harder to ensure that you’re able to use your fireplace safely.
Chimney Sweeping and Insurance
Your homeowners’ insurance company might help cover the cost of damage done if a chimney fire occurs. However, you might need to show that you’ve kept up with maintaining your chimney and fireplace on a regular basis, which includes having chimney sweeping done. This routine maintenance includes removing creosote and soot buildup inside your chimney, reducing the risk of a chimney fire.
Since homeowners’ insurance policies vary widely, it’s important to get details about your coverage from your insurance company. You should ask your insurance company about fire damage related to your chimney to see if your policy covers this kind of damage and how much coverage is included. While talking to your insurance company, you should also ask for detailed information on chimney sweeping as it relates to your policy, such as how often you’re expected to have this done for coverage purposes.
What to Expect from Professional Chimney Sweeping
When you have professional chimney cleaning done, your chimney sweep will clean the inside of your flue and chimney. This includes carefully removing soot and creosote from the surfaces inside your chimney using special equipment. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had your chimney cleaned, this process can take longer than usual, but it’s important to ensure that this buildup has been thoroughly removed.
During professional chimney cleaning, some chimney sweeps also look for potential problems that might require repairs to prevent safety issues. Chimney sweeps can check for evidence of pests inside your chimney, such as bird nests, and remove these as well. This is another part of keeping your chimney in safe condition for insurance purposes, since nests can cause blockages that lead to carbon monoxide leaks or act as flammable objects that spark chimney fires.