Can you DIY a chimney inspection or cleaning?

Maintaining a chimney and fireplace is essential for the safety and efficiency of your heating system. A neglected chimney can cause numerous hazards such as chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and structural damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional chimney sweep. However, some homeowners might wonder if they can DIY a chimney inspection or cleaning. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in order to assist you in making an informed decision.

Can you DIY a chimney inspection?

While it’s possible to inspect your chimney on your own, it’s not recommended. Chimney inspections are not only time-consuming but also require a certain level of expertise and knowledge. A professional chimney sweep has the necessary training and tools to perform a thorough inspection and identify any potential issues.

A chimney inspection typically involves examining the chimney’s interior and exterior for damage or obstructions, checking the flue for creosote buildup, and testing the chimney’s draft and airflow. A professional sweep knows how to do all of these things safely and accurately. They can also provide you with a detailed report on the condition of your chimney and any repairs that need to be made.

If you attempt to DIY a chimney inspection, you could miss something important or inadvertently damage your chimney or fireplace. For example, using the wrong cleaning tools or methods can cause damage to the chimney liner or masonry. Additionally, climbing onto your roof or accessing the chimney can be dangerous, especially if you’re not experienced with heights.

Can you DIY a chimney cleaning?

While some homeowners might be tempted to clean their chimneys on their own, it’s not recommended. Chimney cleaning involves removing creosote buildup, soot, and debris from the chimney’s interior. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that can ignite and cause a chimney fire if not removed properly. A professional chimney sweep has the proper training, tools, and equipment to safely and thoroughly clean your chimney.

Furthermore, a professional chimney sweep can identify any potential issues that could be causing the creosote buildup, such as a drafting problem or burning unseasoned wood. They can also ensure that your chimney is structurally sound and free from any blockages that could cause carbon monoxide poisoning or a chimney fire.

Attempting to clean your chimney on your own can be dangerous, as you could accidentally dislodge debris and cause it to fall into the fireplace or even onto the roof. Additionally, using the wrong cleaning tools or methods could cause damage to the chimney liner or masonry.


While it might be tempting to DIY a chimney inspection or cleaning, its best to leave it up to the professionals. Chimneys and fireplaces are complex systems that require the expertise of a professional chimney sweep to maintain safely and efficiently. Attempting to inspect or clean your chimney on your own could not only be dangerous but also lead to costly repairs in the future. It’s crucial to have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional to ensure your family’s safety and the longevity of your heating system.

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