Is it worth hiring a chimney sweep?
Hiring a certified chimney sweep to clean your chimney can cost up to $ 300. Q13 FOX NEWS asked Brent Spraker, a product manager at PEMCO Insurance, is it worth it?
SEATTLE – If a scene from Disney’s “Mary Poppins” comes to mind when you think about hiring a chimney sweep, think again.
Experts say you want to hire a certified company to clean your chimney at least once a year. An inspection and cleaning can cost you more than $ 300. That price makes you wonder, “Is it worth it?”
Dirty chimneys are a leading cause of building fires, according to the National Fire Protection Associate. A 2016 NFPA report shows that between 2009 and 2013, 19 percent of house fire deaths were caused by home heating equipment. Thirty percent of these fires are due to failure to clean equipment such as chimneys.
Brent Spraker, a product manager at PEMCO Insurance, told Q13 the main culprit was creosote.
“Creosote is the deposit that you get in a chimney specifically from burning wood,” said Spraker. “It’s a black tar-like residue and if it builds up and isn’t cleaned it can be a fire hazard.”
Also, trying to avoid the cost of hiring a certified chimney sweep yourself can be costly if not done correctly. Spraker said you need to know what to look for.
“You can’t necessarily look at it and say, ‘Oh, that’s good’ or ‘That’s not good,’” said Spraker. “There can be things hidden that you don’t know about.”
Hidden things like rubble or bird nests.
The price may seem high, but, said Spraker, you can rest assured. That’s why Spraker said, yes, it’s worth hiring a chimney cleaning company once a year.
“If you proactively do something to prevent a loss, that’s a good thing,” said Spraker. “You have the peace of mind that your home is safe, your family is safe, you know that Santa Claus won’t get dirty when he comes down the chimney.”
Always contact a chimney sweep who is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. You can find a CSIA-certified chimney sweep using a zip code finder on CSIA.org.