10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Chimney Sweep
Some so-called chimney sweep companies are actually run by unqualified scam artists who offer low prices but don’t provide needed services. Other unscrupulous “sweeps” trick you into agreeing to unnecessary repairs; after they accept a deposit for costly renovations, nothing gets done. The following information can help you determine whether or not you are hiring a competent, qualified, and reliable chimney sweep company
for the cleaning and inspection of your chimney.
1- The Chimney Sweep Industry is Unregulated
It’s important to be careful when hiring a chimney sweep because, although chimney safety can be a matter of life and death, the industry is completely unregulated. In other words, anyone can legally start up a business as a chimney sweep, even if they don’t have a moment’s training and even if they don’t have the proper tools to perform the job well. There are nationally recognized licenses and certifications, however, which give an indication of which chimney sweeps are truly qualified
to handle the job professionally and with excellence.
2- Verify CSIA Certification of the Individual
The nationwide training standard for chimney sweeps is provided through The Chimn
ey Sweep Institute of America (CSIA). What you want is a CSIA certified chimney sweep performing the services for your home; ask to see the proof of certification of the individual doing the work. Sometimes only the owner of a sweep company is CSIA certified, and he or she will send out technicians who have not gone through the training or earned the certification. The training and services provided by the CSIA include the proper maintenance, repair, and use of chimneys, fireplaces, stoves, and other fuel-burning
appliances and their venting systems.
3- Verify NCGS Membership
A chimney sweep who is a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) demonstrates a dedication to expertise and professionalism. An NCSG membership is not a certification, but it does show that the company is equipped to stay on the cutting edge of the industry, including becoming aware of the latest technologies in chimney sweeping, masonry repair, and all things related to the industry.
4- Verify Liability Insurance Coverage
An important way to protect yourself against any damage which could occur as a result of a chimney sweep entering your home or going onto your roof is by verifying that the company you are working with is fully insured with liability coverage. In the unlikely event that damage occurs, you will be responsible for the damage, if the company has no liability coverage.
5- Check for Current Positive References
Besides reading online reviews which should be available for any established company, ask the chimney sweep company for references
. Contact the clients whose names and numbers are provided, to ask about their satisfaction with the work performed by the chimney sweep company. Don’t hire a chimney sweep who can’t or won’t provide any references. Good standing with the Better Business Bureau is also an indication of customer satisfaction.
6- Check an Individual’s Identification
Be careful not to allow just anyone to work on your home. Ask for identification to verify that the individual who comes to your door is with the reputable company you’ve hired. Look for company I.D. badges, a uniform, or a vehicle which identifies the company. It can be very risky to hire a solicitor who knocks at your door to perform chimney services.
7- Beware of Telephone Scams
Telephone scams involving chimney sweep services are widespread. There are times when telemarketers who call and entice you with remarkably low pricing are selling leads to independent contractors that are under-qualified and make as many calls in a day as possible. Even worse, allowing a stranger into your home based on a phone call can open the possibility for criminal activity and expert scammers who gain your confidence, take your money, and run.
8- Expect On-Time Service
Hiring a reputable and professional chimney sweep company is a matter of safety.
There’s no need to get stuck with a company that won’t give you a definite time frame for their visit. A professional chimney sweep service will respect your time, work within a scheduled time frame, and call if running late by a few minutes.
9– Expect Professional Appearance and Attitude
Qualified chimney professionals typically dress in a marked company uniform and treat you, the consumer, and your home with respect. Cleaning up upon completion of the work is an absolute must. In addition, the sweep should be helpful, addressing any questions or concerns you may have about your chimney or fireplace or the sweep service.
10- Hiring a Chimney Sweep is a Matter of Safety
It’s important to hire a qualified chimney sweep because a chimney which isn’t properly cleaned, inspected, and repaired, as needed, can become a serious fire hazard. Always weigh promised savings on the cost of services against the assurance that the work is performed in a manner that measures up to industry standards.
Chimney Solutions is a trusted and professional chimney sweep service for the greater Atlanta area. Call us for any of your chimney and hearth needs, and we will send one of our highly-rated chimney professionals to provide you with the best service available.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-255-1300 / Toll Free 877-697-9337
Chimney Sweep / Chimney Repairs / Chimney Liners / Fireplace & Stove Service
Atlanta, GA • Alpharetta GA • Roswell GA • Duluth GA • Lawrenceville GA • Norcross GA • Woodstock GA • Marietta GA • Cumming GA • Kennesaw GA • Buford GA • Gainesville GA • Acworth GA • Canton GA • Suwanee GA • Sandy Springs GA • Cartersville GA • Flowery Branch GA • Chamblee GA • Dunwoody GA • Fair Oaks GA • Brookhaven GA • Fayetteville GA • Smyma, GA • Tucker GA • Johns Creek GA