Chimney sweepings and inspections are necessary annual maintenance. However, not everyone is qualified to correctly care for your fireplace system. Unfortunately, the metro Baltimore area is home to its fair share of unqualified, untrustworthy “sweeps.” These sweeps often leave your chimney in worse condition than it was before! To avoid this, it is important to know what to look for when hiring a chimney sweep.
Finding the right chimney sweep is about more than looking for the least expensive company or hiring the first person that comes to their door. Instead, homeowners should take their time and do their research. This is in order to ensure they are working with a true chimney professional. Not just some guy with a truck and a broom!
One of the first things to do when looking for a chimney sweep? Ask friends and family for recommendations. This can be a great starting point to find the names of companies that have done good work in the past, as well as those you might want to avoid. Homeowners can then check with the Better Business Bureau or other local business groups to see if there are any complaints or disputes filed against the company.
To ensure you are working with a certified professional, homeowners can use the Chimney Safety Institute of America search feature to find a local, CSIA certified chimney sweep near them.
Questions to ask your chimney sweep.
You’ve done your research. You asked friends and family for recommendations and looked online for reviews. Plus, you’ve checked their qualifications, and think you found the right chimney sweep. Before hiring a chimney sweep to work on your fireplace system, however, there are several questions homeowners should ask.
The following are just a few suggestions of questions to ask your chimney sweep before they work on your home:
- How long have you been in business in this area?
- Can you provide references or reviews from current customers?
- Do you have any outstanding complaints or disputes filed with the Better Business Bureau?
- Does the company cover liability insurance, or do individual chimney sweeps carry it?
- Will a CSIA certified chimney sweep be working on my home or job site?
The following are a few examples of red flags that may indicate you are not working with a trustworthy chimney company:
- Extremely low-cost or free chimney sweeping offers.
- Callers who claim to represent “your chimney sweep company.”
- Companies who offer specials because they are in your neighborhood at a specific time or day.
- Use of scare tactics to sell services, such as warnings about collapsing chimneys, fires, or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Trucks or vans with no company insignia or out-of-state tags.
- Requiring cash up front or requiring a credit card deposit to make an appointment.
By doing your research and asking questions, homeowners can ensure they are working with a true chimney professional. At ChimneyTEK, we have been serving the metro Baltimore area for more than 20 years. We are happy to answer any questions or concerns our customers have! For more information about hiring the right chimney sweep or to schedule your next chimney services, contact ChimneyTEK today.