Why Homeowners Should Always Call Professionals for Fireplace and Chimney Problems
With access to so much information on the Internet, many homeowners are doing more DIY projects at home to save money. And the do-it-yourself market is enormous, with more than $400B in retail sales in 2018, according to the HIRI/IHI Markit Forecast. But some projects, like chimney cleaning and repair, are far too dangerous for a casual DIYer and could do more harm and be more costly. Here are four reasons why homeowners should always consult with an experienced professional for fireplace and chimney problems.
A Certified Chimney Sweep® has the training and knowledge of the entire chimney system. They undergo a rigorous training program and must satisfactorily pass an exam through a national credentialing organization like the Chimney Safety Institute of America or the National Chimney Sweep Guild, for example. The chimney professional must also take and pass recurrent training exams to maintain their credentials.
In addition to their expertise, a professional chimney technician has a complete set of professional tools, equipment, and supplies that allow them to diagnose accurately and correct problems with the chimney or fireplace. Even though a homeowner can buy many of these products in their local hardware or hearth store, they lack the expertise of knowing which products they should use or avoid for properly cleaning or repairing their fireplace and chimney.
Safety is the number one priority of all chimney professionals. It not just safety on the job but performing cleaning, inspections, and repairs that will reduce fire hazards and prolong the life of the chimney and fireplace. Chimney cleaning is a dangerous and dirty job that should only be performed by a qualified professional. It requires working in an environment with limited space that may be filled with harmful contaminants. Cleaning and inspecting the chimney also requires the technician to climb on the roof to inspect and repair the flashing and chimney crown and clear any flue obstructions. Falling off the ladder is the most common cause of severe accidental injury and death among DIYers.
Prevent Accidental Damage
A masonry chimney is comprised of several components, all of which must be in good working condition to keep your home and family safe while using your fireplace or other heating appliance. For instance, a DIYer may accidentally damage the brickwork or other components like the smoke shelf, or firebox while trying to replace the damper. The firebox is particularly susceptible to accidental damage. These components play an essential role in heating and venting the fireplace. Causing even a small amount of chimney damage can result in expensive repairs that far exceed the cost of professional help.
A professional chimney sweep inspects, cleans, and repairs chimneys every working day. It’s their primary job function. As a result, chimney professionals can perform these duties more efficiently than casual laypersons.
Instead of spending an entire Sunday afternoon trying to clean your chimney and spreading soot around the living room, hire a Certified Chimney Sweep to do it for you. They will have the entire job done in about an hour. No mess. No Fuss.