How Much Does a Chimney Inspection Cost?

by Team HomeServe
A male worker in a blue shirt on the roof installing tin cap on the brick chimney

Your home's chimney keeps you safe while you enjoy a roaring fire, and there's more to it than meets the eye. A properly functioning chimney allows fumes to exit your home safely and prevents excessive heat buildup that could lead to a house fire. However, many people forget to schedule a chimney inspection as part of their home maintenance routine.

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A chimney inspection can detect problems with your chimney before they become more significant issues that pose a risk to your safety. Let's find out how much a chimney inspection costs and what's involved.

What Is Involved in a Chimney Inspection?

A chimney inspection involves checking your chimney's condition to ensure it's safe to use. Your contractor will look for any issues that could raise the risk of fumes entering your home or a house fire, such as creosote buildup and structural problems. If they find a problem, they can recommend repairs or cleaning to make your chimney fit for use.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, there are three levels of chimney inspections. Which one you require depends on your chimney's condition and whether you've noticed any issues.

Level 1

A Level 1 chimney inspection is the most basic check, and most chimney sweep companies include a Level 1 inspection with a cleaning service as standard. The contractor examines the inside of the chimney using a flashlight, looking for visible damage and creosote deposits.

Level 2

A Level 2 chimney inspection is more detailed and involves examining the inside of the chimney with telescopic cameras. The CSIA says this type of inspection is needed when you make changes to your fireplace system, like switching from wood to gas fuel. You may require a Level 2 inspection if you haven't had your chimney checked in a while or have reason to suspect something's wrong, such as a recent house fire. It's also wise to have a Level 2 inspection before using your fireplace again after a major storm.

Level 3

You'll only need a Level 3 chimney inspection if a Level 1 or 2 inspection reveals serious structural problems or you've had a large house fire. In this situation, a Level 3 inspection can assess the extent of the damage more thoroughly. Your contractor will remove building materials such as drywall to inspect parts of the chimney they can't see using camera equipment. Therefore, you'll need to repair the damage to your home after a Level 3 chimney inspection.

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How Much Does a Chimney Inspection Cost?

How much a chimney inspection costs depends on which level you need. According to HomeGuide, you should expect to pay between $100 and $250 (CAD 136 and CAD 340) for a Level 1 chimney inspection, which contractors often include in the cost of chimney cleaning.

A Level 2 inspection usually costs between $250 and $600 (CAD 340 and CAD 816). Level 3 chimney inspections are the most expensive, costing between $900 and $5,000 (CAD 1,223 and CAD 6,797). This figure doesn't include the costs of replacing any damaged materials following the inspection, although it often covers minor repairs.

How Do You Know You Need a Chimney Inspection?

The CSIA recommends having your chimney inspected at least once a year. However, you should always book a chimney inspection whenever you notice creosote buildup because it can increase the risk of a house fire.

You should also have your chimney inspected whenever you suspect structural damage, regardless of when you last booked one. For example, it's a good idea to have a chimney inspection after any significant weather event that could cause damage to your chimney. Signs your chimney isn't working correctly, like smoke entering your living space, are another warning that you need a chimney inspection.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.