How much does a chimney inspection cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a chimney inspection cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a chimney inspection cost?

$100 – $250 average cost (level 1 inspection)
$250 – $600average cost (level 2 inspection)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$100 – $250 average cost (level 1 inspection)

$250 – $600 average cost (level 2 inspection)

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Sarah Noel
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Sarah Noel
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Chimney inspection cost

A chimney inspection costs $100 to $250 minimum, including a basic chimney sweep cleaning. This fee includes a standard fireplace or wood stove inspection. A level 1 inspection is a basic visual check, while levels 2 and 3 offer more detailed assessments and cost more.

Chimney inspection cost
Level Average cost
1 $100 – $250
2 $250 – $600
3 $900 – $5,000

Most inspections include chimney cleaning. A standard chimney sweep costs $150 to $375 on average.

Chimney inspector checking the chimney cap
Chimney inspector checking the chimney cap
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Cost of a chimney inspection by level

The cost of a chimney inspection varies based on its condition and the inspection level. More in-depth inspections are necessary for older or poorly maintained chimneys.

Level 1 inspection

A level 1 chimney inspection costs $100 to $250 on average. This inspection includes a visual check of the accessible interior and exterior to verify the safety of the flue and its connections. Inspectors look for cracks, creosote buildup, and signs of wear or damage.

  • A level 1 inspection takes 45 to 60 minutes on average, including basic cleaning.

  • This inspection is an annual requirement before using the fireplace in the winter.

  • A level 1 inspection is for well-maintained chimneys in regular use.

  • Request a level 2 inspection if a chimney hasn't been active for a long time or you see signs of damage.

Level 2 inspection

A level 2 chimney inspection costs $250 to $600 on average with up to 2 flues or fireplaces. This inspection includes a full level 1 assessment plus a video inspection of the internal parts and hard-to-reach areas. The specialist examines the roof, crawl space, or basement areas as needed.

  • A level 2 inspection takes 1 to 2 hours on average.

  • Use a level 2 assessment when buying a new home with a chimney.

  • This in-depth check is essential to find damage after a fire or major storm.

  • Contractors prefer a level 2 inspection before replacing the chimney liner, or when repairing a connected stove or furnace.

Level 3 inspection

A level 3 chimney inspection costs $900 to $5,000 on average for up to 3 flues connected to a main chimney stack. This price range includes minor repairs as part of the analysis. Fees increase for 4 flues or inspecting multiple chimneys.

  • A level 3 inspection is rare and only necessary when a level 2 assessment reveals major problems that require further investigation.

  • This inspection is the most thorough and involves removing parts of drywall, bricks, siding, or chimney caps to confirm the source of damage.

  • Request a level 3 inspection when there are signs of structural damage or hidden problems.

Chimney inspection price considerations

Various cost factors affect the total price of a chimney inspection:

  • Inspection type – The total cost depends on whether you need a basic level 1 inspection or a more comprehensive level 2 or 3 inspection.

  • Chimney size & structure – Larger chimneys with multiple flues and fireplaces take longer to inspect due to the added complexity.

  • Accessibility – Higher labor fees apply for limited-access chimneys on steep roofs. Companies can charge extra when using larger ladders on multi-story homes.

  • Chimney condition – Frequently used and poorly maintained chimneys may need a more thorough examination because of greater wear and tear. These chimneys with excessive creosote buildup take more time and tools to inspect.

  • Geographical location – Inspection fees are typically higher in urban areas with a high demand for chimney sweeps than in rural or lower-cost regions.

  • Emergency service – Urgent inspections or those outside regular service hours come with additional charges.

  • Inspector type – A general home inspector charges less for a basic chimney check. Although a certified chimney technician costs more, their reports are more reliable and complete.

Contractor repairing metal chimney cap on brick chimney
Contractor repairing metal chimney cap on brick chimney

Related services

Average prices for chimney improvements include:

Chimney inspection FAQs

What is a chimney inspection, and what does it include?

A chimney inspection is a careful examination of the interior and exterior parts of the flue, fireplace, and any stoves connected to the chimney. A professional inspector assesses the condition of the chimney and reports any existing damage or potential risks.

  • A basic chimney inspection includes a visual check and minor cleaning.

  • In-depth level 2 inspections are advisable to confirm the chimney doesn't need repairs before buying a home.

  • A Level 3 inspection involves investigating severe damage hidden from view.

Do I need a chimney inspection?

Every chimney needs regular inspections according to most state laws, regardless of how often you use it.

You also need a chimney inspection when:

  • Moving into a new home with a chimney

  • Preparing to use your fireplace or stove in colder weather

  • Installing a new furnace

  • Repairing the home after an earthquake or fire

How often should a chimney be inspected?

Your chimney should be inspected 1 to 2 times annually. All the national fire and chimney safety organizations agree that these yearly inspections are critical for your safety.

How long does a chimney inspection take?

A chimney inspection takes 1 to 2 hours on average, or less time for a basic level one inspection on a well-maintained chimney. A level 3 inspection can take twice as long because it includes removing the crown or other parts to assess problem areas.

What happens if I don’t clean my chimney?

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If you don't clean your chimney, then you face health risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and increased chances of house fires from the flammable buildup inside the flue. Plus, condensation inside the chimney can form acids that ruin the lining.

Getting estimates from chimney inspectors

Before hiring a chimney inspector near you, be sure to:

  • Compare 3+ estimates from several licensed, bonded, and insured inspectors.

  • Ask if they have certifications like:

    • Credentials from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)

    • A state chimney technician license

    • InterNACHI® membership as a certified home inspector

    • The National Fireplace Institute (NFI) certification

    • A home improvement contractor's license

    • State gas handler's license for gas-powered fireplaces

    • Membership in the National Chimney Sweep Guild or other fire safety organizations

  • Request a list of references from past clients.

  • Read their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Avoid choosing the lowest bid since it may result in a low-quality inspection.

Questions to ask

Use the following questions to help you choose a qualified chimney inspector:

  • How long have you been inspecting chimneys?

  • What equipment do you use?

  • Do I need a level 1, level 2, or level 3 inspection of my chimney?

  • Will you check the flue, fireplaces, stoves, and the chimney exterior?

  • Do you take continuing education courses to maintain your CSIA credentials?

  • Can I see video footage of any damage you found in the chimney?

  • Does this estimate include the inspection, cleaning, and all labor fees?

  • Will your company do repairs as well, or do you only conduct inspections?

  • Do you charge extra for 2- or 3-story homes?

  • How long will the inspection last?

  • Can you give me a full report with recommendations for repairs if needed?

  • Are you available for ongoing chimney maintenance, and how much is it?

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