It is very important to perform a chimney cleaning prior to the sell of your home. This is one of the most overlooked systems in a home inspection. The home inspector told us “we don’t have the expertise to check out the fireplace or chimney.” We have followed up on many recent home sales to find issues in the chimney or fireplaces.
Chimney cleaning (sweeping) is a dangerous but valuable service that prevents creosote build up. This is a highly flammable material and can start chimney fires.
If you are a home buyer, it is mandatory to inspect the chimney, the chimney cap and the chimney flue for defects and build up. The home inspection probably will not cover this in detail.
Below are the levels of chimney inspection and cleaning before you sell the home.
Level 1 inspection – a visual chimney and fireplace inspection. A chimney sweep uses a headlamp to look for damage, obstructions (bird nests, debris), creosote build up and soot. They are looking for the basic soundness of the chimney structure, support and flue. Also, if a chimney liner is in place, is the connection sound. Finally, the chimney inspector will provide a report of the findings for the seller.
Level 2 inspection – required when major changes were made to the original system. Changes include: fuel type, the shape or material of the chimney flue and changes to the efficiency or chimney rating. This chimney inspection includes all level 1 steps. A level 2 inspection is required in some areas upon the sale or transfer of a home. Any event that caused damage to the chimney, its foundation or flue must be inspected.
Level 3 – includes both level 1 and level 2 chimney inspection items. Level 3 chimney inspection removes parts of the chimney wall, chimney crown and interior fire blocks. It also inspects the foundation (crawl spaces, supports), required limits from combustible materials and roof openings.
What is the cost for a chimney inspection?
Chimney cleaning cost to sell your home range from $250 to $1,800. The total price depends on the number of fireplaces and the levels of chimney inspection.
Realtors will update their skill training to advise home sellers of this vital inspection. It is an additional cost. The peace of mind in the buyer’s eyes is so worth the expense.
Finally, call your home insurance agent. Insurance companies lower the cost of house insurance if the chimney is inspected. Also, a monitored fire and smoke system lowers most insurance premiums.