Why the Lowest-Price Chimney Sweep May Be the Most Dangerous
Having your chimney worked on is serious business and not the time to go hunting for the lowest price you can find among those who offer chimney services. Unfortunately, this is exactly what some people do every year and end up with a problem much greater than the one they started with.
A range of chimney cleaning and chimney repair companies
The chimney services industry is largely unregulated. Regulations may come into play when doing fireplace or stove installations (i.e., meeting local building, zoning and fire-safety codes), but companies and individuals who offer chimney services aren’t required to hold specific industry credentials.
That means that anyone can be a chimney sweep. And it’s these “anyones” you have to be leery of.
Why hiring chimney services on price isn’t a good idea
There are several reasons why certain companies or individuals who advertise themselves as chimney sweeps or chimney repair workers may offer “amazingly” low prices. Great deals often mean:
Not certified: The company hasn’t invested the time and expense to obtain top hearth-industry certifications like those from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fireplace Institute (NFI).
Low wages: The company is paying its crew a low wage because the crew is not experienced. Professionals who have developed expertise in the chimney-services industry will not work for minimum wage.
Lack of the right equipment: The company has made no sizeable investment in professional-grade equipment for chimney cleaning, chimney repair, chimney rebuilding or chimney inspection projects – and they’re passing that savings on to you.
Minimal time on-site: The company isn’t going to spend the necessary time to check and double-check their work to ensure it’s being done safely and correctly.
Protect yourself when hiring chimney sweep and repair services
We’re not intentionally criticizing any chimney service company here. We’re simply giving you some things to keep in mind when it comes to hiring a team for your next chimney project.
For this reason, here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself when considering a chimney company or individual to do work for you.
- Get a few estimates and compare them. If there’s a particularly wide range of prices, it’s probably best to not go with the lowest one.
- When evaluating prices, compare the estimates to see if each one covers the same work tasks, parts and components. Don’t rush through this comparison process.
- Ask about industry credentials. Find out if the company or individual has taken the time to earn industry certifications and obtain relevant industry-association memberships. Minimally, a company should be certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute.
- Get references. Talk with other customers the company has worked for.
- Find out how long the company or individual has been in business.
- Confirm that the service provider is insured, bonded and licensed to do business.
- Make sure the person you’re thinking of hiring is experienced in and can talk knowledgeably about your specific type of chimney or fireplace project.
Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, GA, has been a trusted provider of chimney services in the greater Atlanta area for more than 20 years. Our certifications include CSIA, NFI and others. Give us a call at (770) 255-1300 and let us earn your trust.