Complete guide to start or buy a chimney sweep business



It is estimated that there are millions of chimneys in the world, as they are a common feature in many types of buildings, including homes, businesses, schools, and other structures. In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are more than 140 million chimneys. 


The use of chimneys dates back to ancient times, but the first chimneys as we know them today were developed in the Middle Ages, during the 12th and 13th centuries. These early chimneys were made of stone or brick and were built into the walls of castles and other large buildings. They were typically located in the kitchen or great hall and were used to vent smoke and heat from open fires. The first chimneys were quite simple in design, consisting of a vertical shaft that extended up through the roof.



See what the CSIA has to say about a chimney sweep being an occupation!


A chimney sweep is important because a buildup of creosote and other debris in a chimney can create a fire hazard. A chimney sweep can remove this buildup and ensure that the chimney is safe to use. Additionally, a chimney sweep can check for any damage or other issues with the chimney that could affect its functionality. Regular chimney sweeping is also important to maintain the efficiency of the chimney, preventing smoke from entering the room and keeping the fire burning properly… Let’s see what it takes to start or buy a chimney sweep business for sale! 


Q1: What is a chimney sweep business?


Did you know chimneys that have not been properly cleaned are the number one factor in chimney fires? You may think, “Well, who still uses chimneys these days anyway?” Although more houses are opting for gas and electric heating there are still many homes that prefer burning wood in their fireplace instead. Because fireplaces are still used by 40% of homes all over America as an alternative to heating, a chimney sweep business is still likely to have a high success rate. Chimney sweep business owners clean and sweep fireplaces and chimneys for businesses, apartment buildings, and private homes. Depending on the length and complexity of the job, a chimney sweep charges its customers according to the services provided by them. Purchasing a chimney sweep business for sale may be a good option for you if you are looking for a seasonal job to complement your other seasonal niche businesses.


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Q2: What do chimney sweeps companies do? 


A chimney sweep’s main job is to do chimney inspections, chimney sweeping, and fireplace cleanings and can offer other services like chimney remodeling, chimney relining, and pipe and liner repair. 

The reason for cleaning chimneys is to remove any dirt and debris, including creosote, soot, and blockages from inside the chimney structure. Specialized tools and vacuums are used to remove this buildup from the fireplace system. If the chimney sweep isn't able to fully remove the creosote with these tools, then a chemical treatment may be applied. This ensures the safe use of the housing’s fireplace. The chimney cleaning process will usually take anywhere from 1-3 hours in total. A chimney inspection may be conducted to look for any possible issues that may come about eventually.


Q3: How much do chimney sweeps charge?


Before buying a chimney sweep business for sale, it may be necessary to do some market research on other chimney sweep businesses and see if you will be satisfied with the earnings you would potentially make as a chimney sweep. 

On average, chimney sweeps can charge $100-$300 for a regular inspection and sweep of a regular home. Prices may vary depending on the conditions of the chimneys and if there are multiple chimneys involved.


Q4: What tools do chimney sweeps use? 


Chimney sweeps are required to have specialized tools to help them clean out chimneys and fireplaces correctly. Some tools are more important to have than others and depending on your budget, you can opt to buy second-hand or possibly finance the equipment needed. You could also hold off on purchasing some of these tools until you receive a job that would require you to get them. The following is a list of some of the materials and supplies you may need:

  • Ladders/step stools

  • A HEPA vacuum cleaner

  • Rotary cleaning rods

  • Hang lights

  • Cleaning and wire brushes

  • Small tools (hammer, plyer, chisel, measuring tape, etc)

  • Power Drill

  • Batteries and extension cords for power tools

  • PPE equipment (masks, gloves, harness, etc)


Q5: What qualifications do you need to be a chimney sweeper?


There are minimal requirements to be a chimney sweep. A cleaning license is not required to start a chimney sweep business (a general business license is sufficient). When acquiring a chimney sweep business for sale, you should know that you can be held liable for damages that occur if you didn’t clean the homeowner’s chimney properly. That is why it would be in your best interest to get certified by a chimney sweep training institute. Getting the proper certification will not only teach you how to avoid mistakes and how to detect damage or potential danger, but it will also help you attract a large clientele base because it shows them that you are experienced in safety and reliability.

The competition for a chimney sweep business is low when compared to other service industries. And since chimneys should be cleaned yearly, you can be assured that there will be a recurring demand for your services.


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Q6: What are some pros and cons of owning a chimney sweep business?



  • High demand: Chimneys need to be cleaned and inspected regularly, providing a steady stream of business.

  • Flexibility: You can operate your business part-time or full-time, and you may be able to set your schedule.

  • Low overhead: The equipment needed to start a chimney sweep business is relatively inexpensive, and you may be able to operate from your home.

  • Opportunity for growth: As your business grows, you may be able to expand your services and hire additional staff to help with the workload.



  • Seasonal work: The demand for chimney sweeping services is typically highest during the fall and winter, which may result in less work during the spring and summer.

  • Physical labor: The work of a chimney sweep can be physically demanding, and may not be suitable for everyone.

  • Safety concerns: There is a risk of accidents and injuries while working on chimneys and roofs, so proper safety precautions are needed.

  • Regulation: Some states have strict regulations regarding chimney sweeping, and you will need to comply with these regulations to maintain your business.

  • Weather dependent: The work depends on weather conditions, you may have to reschedule or cancel appointments during bad weather.

Owning a chimney sweep business can be a rewarding and profitable venture, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to start one. Make sure to research the market, regulations, and industry standards before starting your business.


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Q7: How to start a chimney sweep business?


Starting a chimney sweep business can be a rewarding venture, but it does require some planning and preparation. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Research the market: Look into the demand for chimney sweeping services in your area, and find out what other chimney sweep businesses are already operating.

  2. Get certified: Many states require chimney sweeps to be certified. Look into the specific requirements in your state and complete any necessary training or certification courses.

  3. Purchase equipment: Invest in the necessary equipment, such as brushes, rods, a vacuum, safety gear, and a truck or van to transport your equipment.

  4. Create a business plan: Develop a plan outlining your business's goals, target market, pricing strategy, and marketing plan.

  5. Obtain licenses and insurance: Register your business with the state and obtain any necessary licenses and permits. Also, make sure to have liability insurance to cover any potential accidents.

  6. Build a website and create an online presence: Create a website and social media profiles to promote your business and attract customers.

  7. Network and market your business: Attend local events, join trade organizations, and offer promotions and discounts to attract new customers.

  8. Start small: It may be a good idea to start small and work on building a solid reputation before expanding your business.

Starting a chimney sweep business can be a challenging but also profitable business, always make sure to comply with the regulations and standards of the industry.


In conclusion, buying a chimney sweep business for sale can be a profitable and rewarding venture, but it does come with its own set of challenges. The demand for chimney sweeping services is relatively consistent, providing a steady stream of business. Additionally, the equipment required to start the business is relatively inexpensive and the overhead can be low. However, the work can be physically demanding and there are risks associated with working on chimneys and roofs. Additionally, the work can be weather dependent and seasonally based. It's also important to be aware of the regulations in your area and comply with them. To make a well-informed decision, it's important to research the market, regulations, and industry standards before starting a chimney sweep business.


To the best of our knowledge, the information provided on this website is not intended to be taken as professional financial advice. Consult a professional financial, business broker, or tax expert if you require this advice. 



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