How to Deal with Multiple Estimates for Chimney Services
Scenario, part 1: Every time it rains, you notice water in your fireplace. You assume there’s a leak somewhere in the system, so you bring out three local chimney repair people and get three estimates for what it will cost to solve the problem.
Scenario, part 2: There’s a wide dollar difference among all three estimates. Which one do you choose?
These are common scenarios when arranging for chimney repair or chimney rebuilding services. Your gut instinct is to go with the lowest price, but then your second gut instinct reminds you that cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Choosing the right chimney service company
The next time you’re dealing with multiple chimney service estimates, here are three initial guidelines to follow in selecting the right person or company for chimney repair work.
A reputable chimney repair company will not only tell you what’s wrong with your chimney, the technician will also show you, either directly or through photographs or video. Beware of a chimney service that just tells you a long spiel about what’s going on with your chimney but won’t give you any visuals to back it up.
Answers to your questions
When talking with a chimney tech about problems with your chimney, you should get clear answers to your questions. You may not understand every element of drafting, masonry construction or the components of your chimney, but your chimney service person should understand them, and that will be clear when you ask questions about the project. Don’t accept vague, confusing answers from a prospective chimney repair technician.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certifies chimney sweeps through a very rigorous process. Holding a CSIA certification means that the individual (or company) has clearly demonstrated an advanced level of knowledge of chimney and fireplace systems and has shown that he or she is more than capable of successfully undertaking any repairs.
In addition, technicians who are certified through the CSIA have made a pledge to maintain the highest level of integrity when working with customers in the field. To break this pledge with unscrupulous behavior means the certification could be stripped away, meaning good luck getting a job in this industry again.
Working with a CSIA-certified chimney repair tech
When problems happen with a chimney, usually the first step is an inspection. When a CSIA-certified chimney sweep performs this inspection, he or she will provide you with all the details you need to know that explain what was found and what needs to be done about it. A certified technician will answer your questions in a way that makes sense. You will know (and see) what’s wrong with your chimney, what risks might be involved if the problem is ignored, what is necessary to perform the needed repairs and what all is included in the price.
It’s unfortunate that in the chimney services industry there are quite a few “handymen” and “jacks-of-all-trades” out there offering to fix your chimney. Most of these individuals are not professionally trained and skilled in doing chimney repair, chimney cleaning or chimney rebuilding. Use the three guidelines presented here to weed them out before you even start getting estimates.
Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, GA, serves the entire Atlanta region with chimney inspections, repair and cleaning, all performed by CSIA-certified technicians who are here to solve your chimney’s problems and keep you and your home safe. To schedule an appointment or learn more about our services, call (770) 255-1300.