The fireplace is a good way to warm up in winter and decorate your home all year round. But like all household equipment, it requires regular maintenance. Why should you have your chimney swept? How often should the chimney sweep be involved? What are the obligations in this area and the risks to which the user is exposed in the event of a lack of maintenance? Our answers in this file.
Why have your chimney swept?
Having your chimney swept is very useful for your comfort and your health. Sweeping consists of eliminating the soot and waste that settles and clogs the chimney flue. By cleaning the walls, this allows it to work better, which is interesting in terms of comfort.
But for your health and safety, sweeping is also an essential cleaning action. Indeed, not only can an unswept hearth release a deadly gas, carbon monoxide, but it can also be a source of fire.
The cost of sweeping varies between 40 and 80 euros depending on the region, the companies contacted, the size of the chimney and the conditions of access to the duct.
How often should your chimney be swept?
It is recommended, even compulsory, to have your chimney swept twice a year, the first time before the heating season, i.e. before the first use of the year, and a second time during the season. of heating.
We advise you to check with the town hall of your municipality, as some require annual sweeping while others require two.
If you are renting a house with a chimney, also refer to the content of your rental contract, which may stipulate that one or two annual sweeps are necessary, or even impose on you the company to contact.
What are the sweeping regulations?
As you will have understood, sweeping is compulsory and it must be carried out by a professional chimney sweep to be counted as carried out, and accompanied by a certificate confirming that the intervention has been carried out. As we mentioned earlier, it is the town hall of your municipality that decides on the terms of this obligation, in particular whether sweeping must be carried out once or twice a year.
What are the administrative risks if sweeping is not done?
Any owner of a chimney exposes himself to penalties if he does not have it swept every year. This is a 3 ticket.e class, i.e. a fine of 68 euros, which may be increased to 180 euros.
If a fire breaks out in your home, your insurer may refuse to reimburse you for the costs related to the disaster if you cannot prove that a sweeping company has intervened to sweep your duct. In addition, if it is proven that the fire is linked to a sweeping defect and that the damage is significant, the owner is liable to aggravated penalties.
We remind you that to be valid from a legal point of view, sweeping must be carried out by a professional who will issue you a certificate. If you do your chimney sweeping yourself or if you have it done by a non-professional chimney sweep (as some canvassers do) who will not issue you an official certificate, this will not count as a valid intervention in the event of a fire.
What about unused chimneys?
Even if you don’t use the chimney in your home, you must have it swept. This is a requirement of insurance companies and you risk not being reimbursed in the event of a fire, even if the chimney is not at fault.
Do not hesitate to inquire with your insurer. Some agree to cover you without requiring sweeping, provided you complete and sign a certificate explaining that you agree never to use the chimney in your home.
On the other hand, if the chimney is condemned, you have no need to have it swept, since it cannot be used and no misunderstanding is envisaged in the event of a fire.
Who finances the sweeping?
It is logically the user of the chimney who finances its sweeping. If you own your home and use the fireplace, the question does not arise.
On the other hand, in the context of a rental, it is up to the tenant to pay for the sweeping, since he is the user of the hearth. However, the owner must have the certainty and the confirmation that the sweeping is well carried out, because in the event of disaster, the insurer of the tenant can put it at fault or at least check that this point is controlled by the owner. Some owners protect themselves by including the sweeping costs in the amount of the rental charges and engage the sweeping company themselves. Nevertheless, the costs remain entirely the responsibility of the tenant.