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Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover All Chimney Repairs?

This is a common question among people who are dealing with damaged chimneys. The simple answer is, homeowner’s insurance generally is set up to cover damage from what the carrier refers to as “unexpected” events. “Expected” events, on the other hand, usually won’t be covered.

Here are some things to know about chimney damage and insurance claims.

Types of Damage Homeowner’s Insurance is Designed For

To learn exactly what your carrier will cover and what it won’t, read your policy or speak with a representative. Here is a basic list of things that can cause damage to a chimney that typically will be included in homeowner’s insurance coverage:

  • Lightning strikes
  • Hail storms
  • Earthquakes
  • Some chimney fires
  • Trees and branches falling during a storm
  • Gale-force winds

These events are considered unexpected – meaning, you didn’t initiate them and you had little or no control over them.

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Common Reasons Insurance Providers Won’t Cover Chimney Damage

Advanced Chimney Sweep of Georgia and South Carolina performs a lot of chimney repair projects, and we find that one of the most common reasons chimneys suffer damage is because of neglect.

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As strong as chimneys are, they won’t last forever without regular maintenance by licensed, experienced chimney technicians. Some issues we find that were the result of neglect include:

  • Crumbling bricks and mortar
  • Deteriorated sections of masonry
  • Widespread water damage from leaks
  • Large amounts of acidic creosote in the flue
  • Internal masonry damage
  • Cracked or broken chimney liner
  • Damaged chimney crown, cap, chase top and flashing
  • Damage from past chimney fires
  • Chimney leaning to one side
  • Partial or total collapse of the chimney

These and many other serious problems can be prevented with regular inspections, cleaning and repairs. Your insurance provider expects you to keep your chimney reasonably maintained in order to avoid this kind of “unexpected” damage.

Three Steps to Take to Keep Your Chimney in Great Shape

While you can’t keep Nature from doing its thing, you definitely can keep your chimney from falling apart due to neglect. Here are three steps you can start taking right away:

  1. Have your chimney professionally cleaned once a year

Advanced Chimney Sweep technicians have the tools and hands-on training to safely remove flammable creosote from your chimney flue. This greatly reduces the chance of a chimney fire and keeps smoke drafting freely and easily.

  1. Have your chimney inspected annually by a licensed chimney inspector

A chimney inspection will tell you if there are early signs of structural damage or malfunction. Our licensed inspectors perform both basic and advanced chimney inspections.

  1. Arrange for repairs to be made right away

If you notice problems with your chimney or if your inspector alerts you to them, it’s smart to get the repair work done right away to avoid further damage and more expense down the line.

Get a Second Opinion

If you’re dealing with a chimney issue for a homeowner’s insurance claim, our team is happy to provide you with a no-cost second opinion on your first estimate. Second opinions can save you money in cases where the first chimney company wasn't accurate in their estimation of the job. This happens more often than you might think.

Get in touch with a chimney expert at (706) 833-4630 for professional chimney repairs, inspection and cleaning. We’re here to help all year long.

Advanced Chimney Sweep serves the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) and the South Carolina Midlands region, including Augusta GA, Martinez GA, Evans GA, Dearing GA, Hephzibah GA, Lexington SC, Columbia SC, Orangeburg SC, Aiken SC and all areas in between.