If you haven’t already, it’s the time of year to make sure your chimney is ready for a full season of cold weather and heating your home. You may be tempted to take on this task yourself and save a few dollars. However, chimney care is not a typical do-it-yourself project.
Your Family’s Safety Comes First
Many things can go wrong from missing spots to getting injured on your roof. Professionals have training and experience inspecting and cleaning chimneys. They can spot and remove the dangerous build-up of creosote, a flammable tar that builds from wood smoke and can cause fires capable of burning down your home. Even a small fire can cause thousands of dollars of damage to the inside of your house from smoke and water.
Another concern is carbon monoxide. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, nearly 10,000 people are injured by the odorless gas every year. A proper inspection can spot broken connector pipes or rusted areas that can also lead to the buildup of dangerous gases. To further reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning, install and check your CO detector every year when scheduling the yearly inspection.
Professional Tools Make a Difference
A significant portion of chimney repair costs goes towards tools that help trained professionals get the job done quickly without a huge mess. Licensed cleaners use high-quality tools that won’t break and take longer to complete. In addition to cleaning tools, clean up services with a professional can make a huge difference. The soot from a fireplace or woodstove is thick, dangerous to breathe, and very messy. If the carbon gets into your carpet, walls, or furniture, it will require professional upholstery services to restore them, and some damage could be permanent. Chimney care specialists use commercial vacuums that can clean up any debris and soot in minutes and put down proper protection for your valuables to prevent damage. However, if there is property loss from the cleaning, professional service is responsible for replacing or compensating the homeowner for cleaning.
It Could Void Your Roof’s Warranty
A key part of chimney cleaning occurs on the building’s roof. Even if you have some tools or can borrow some, it’s possible to void your roof’s warranty. Most warranties won’t cover damage from unlicensed work, which includes the homeowner making repairs or doing unauthorized work on the property. Additionally, you should check with your homeowner’s insurance policy—There could be repercussions for not using a professional chimney sweep if a fire or similar accident occurs. Professional chimney repair costs also include coverage for any mistakes, such as breaking a roofing shingle climbing onto your roof. Plus, roofs and ladders can lead to accidents. Keep your feet on the ground to avoid the medical expenses, lost income, and even loss of life a fall could cause.
There are plenty of DIY projects that can help homeowners save money and even learn a new skill. However, trying to save money on chimney repair costs can be more expensive in the long run. Get peace of mind that you, your loved ones, and your property is safe by hiring a chimney care professional today and enjoy the cold weather in front of a clean, safe fireplace or wood stove.