The downside of enjoying some warm, cozy, crackling fire in the fireplace is soot and creosote buildup. Homeowners are advised to carry out annual chimney inspections to prevent structural damage ‘and fires that can result from this buildup.
Your chimney’s condition will determine the type of chimney inspection you schedule. While well-maintained chimneys require basic inspection procedures, chimneys with significant structural damage may require a higher level inspection procedure, which comes at a higher cost.
Average cost of a chimney inspection
On average, how much a chimney inspection costs ranges between $80 and $5000 depending on the inspection level. A routine visual inspection of an undamaged chimney with a single flue typically costs between $80 and $100. However, if your chimney is larger than the standard size, or connected to several flues, you may pay up to $950 for a routine level 1 chimney inspection.
In case of damage by fire or storm, you may part with between $200 and $1000. Like in the routine inspection, how much your chimney inspection costs depend on the number of flues and degree of damage. Notably, the aforementioned costs are inclusive of the cleaning procedures involved.
Homeowners may pay between $500 and $5000 if there’s significant structural damage. The prices are a reflection of the complex inspection process that sometimes resembles a demolition job. To have a better view of the damage beneath, inspectors may sometimes demolish walls and entire surfaces. Depending on underlying damages, the procedures may have a small or significant impact on how much your chimney inspection costs.
The flue factor in chimney inspection costs
It is common for homes to have multiple flues; one for the wood stove, another for the fireplace, and a third for an HVAC system, if any. The presence of multiple flues may escalate your chimney inspection costs.
However, if you are not using all the flue chambers, you do not need to schedule a yearly inspection for all of them. If planning to use a dormant one or have been actively using all of them, a chimney inspection would be ideal.
The chimney inspection cost for a single flue inspection ranges from $870 to $400, depending on the inspection level. For two flues, your chimney inspection will cost $150 for a routine level 1 inspection and $600 for a complex level 3 inspection.
For homes with 3 flues, the prices may begin from $450 and go all the way up to $800 depending on inspection level. Finally, the price for a 4-flued house is $550 for a basic routine inspection and $1000 for a level 3 inspection.
When to get a chimney inspection
As part of your home maintenance plan, you need to hire a chimney inspector annually. An ideal time for a chimney inspection is right before the cold season or after a period of regular chimney use.
Don’t hesitate to call an inspector even if your chimney looks perfect from the outside. Some deep structural damage may not be obvious at a glance. If left to linger, they may escalate how much your chimney inspection costs.
Remember to contact a chimney inspection specialist if there’s a reduction in your fire quality, smoke fills up your house when you light the fireplace, or your fireplace region turns sooty. These may be signs your chimney needs urgent inspection.