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Chimney Repairs and Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

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When your chimney is damaged or malfunctioning, the number-one objective is to get it fixed. The number-two objective is to see if your homeowner’s insurance policy will pay for it. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. Let’s explore this important subject.

Chimney Damage that’s Usually Covered by Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance providers consider chimney damage in two categories:

1. Unexpected

2. Expected

Insurance companies normally are happy to cover unexpected damage, such as from:

  • Some chimney fires
  • Lightning strikes
  • Major hail storms
  • Gale-force winds
  • Falling trees and branches

These and related causes of damage are considered unexpected in that you didn’t cause them and you could do little or nothing to prevent them. They’re accidents, and they’re the reason homeowner’s insurance policies were created.

Chimney Damages Insurance Won’t Cover

On the other hand, there are “expected” damages, usually caused by neglecting to have regular chimney cleaning, repairs and inspections performed. Guardian Chimney Sweep technicians encounter damage-due-to-neglect on a regular basis when servicing our Houston-area customers’ chimneys.

When left alone, chimneys will eventually fall into disrepair. Much of the trouble often involves compromise to the masonry structure or water damage.

Problems that can arise when a chimney isn’t properly cared for include:

  • Deteriorated bricks and mortar
  • Water damage throughout the system
  • Chimney fires due to excess creosote in the flue
  • Chimney liner damage
  • Damaged chimney crown, cap, or flashing
  • Rusted or broken fireplace damper
  • Interior masonry deterioration
  • A chimney that leans or collapses

Homeowner’s insurance providers usually won’t pay for these and other types of chimney damage that results from the homeowner not doing his or her due diligence in keeping the chimney maintained.

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3 Excellent Ways to Take Care of Your Chimney

There are three things you can do to prevent or at least hold off the majority of chimney problems.

1. Have your chimney inspected once a year

An annual chimney inspection will tell you what needs to be fixed so you can get it done quickly and at a much lower cost than a major repair.

2. Have your chimney professionally swept once a year

Annual chimney cleaning will dramatically reduce the chance of a chimney fire by safely removing flammable creosote from your chimney flue.

3. Order repair work when it’s needed

If you notice obvious signs of damage within your chimney system – even if it seems minor – don’t hesitate to have our experienced chimney repair techs resolve the problem. Never delay the scheduling of any needed chimney repairs.

Do You Need a Second Opinion?

If you’re filing a claim through homeowner’s insurance, your provider will want you to get several estimates. Guardian Chimney Sweep regularly gives second estimates and second opinions on repair work on all kinds of damaged chimneys.

A second opinion will help you put the project into perspective and may save you money. Our technicians understand chimneys from top to bottom and often can tell you if a previous estimate was excessive or insufficient in cost projections or tasks involved. We never charge for second opinions or estimates, and there’s no obligation to hire us when you’re ready to have the work done.

Houston-area homeowners rely on Guardian to keep their chimneys clean, safe and high-performing. If you want a second opinion/estimate on any chimney repair project, speak with an expert today at
(713) 401-2011.