Like with most fields, there are chimney sweeps, and then there are those who profess to be chimney sweeps. Finding a qualified chimney sweep who can do a professional job calls for knowing what to do when contracting one.
- Don’t just go with the first chimney sweep you come across. To make an informed choice, you should check a number of chimney sweeps before hiring the right one.
- Ask about insurance: Make sure the sweep you hire has insurance to cover them in case any damage occurs to your home or chimney during the work. It is also important that they have some sort of workers’ insurance in place as well. Get proof of the insurance the sweep claims to have just to be sure.
- Ask for references: Always ask for references when hiring a chimney sweep, and make it a point to contact a few. While references outside of your area are fine, you should get some from your neighborhood. You should not hire any chimney sweep that is reluctant to give you local references.
- Hire licensed professionals: The best bet is to hire chimney professionals who are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Since professionals who are serious about their professions join organizations, look for chimney sweeps who are members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). Don’t just take their word for it, do your research to verify this information.
- Research the cost for different services: While the prices may vary for different chimney maintenance services, ask around to get an idea of the average cost. This way, you can have an idea if you are being overbilled.
- Length of time in business: How long has the company or chimney sweep been operating? While everyone has to start somewhere, experience is important. A chimney sweep that has been in business for years has the knowledge to spot problems with your chimney and fireplace easier.
- Are there complaints: Find out if there are any complaints against the company and how these are being addressed. If you like everything about the company or chimney sweep, ask about the complaints. The explanations may give you a different perspective.
Chimney sweeping is a major job, so you need to protect your home when getting an inspection and any work done. Even if you have a maintenance contract, it is a good idea to ensure that the chimney sweeps who come to work on your chimney are the real deal. Give us a call here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 and we’ll schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA Certified chimney sweeps to ensure that your chimney is clean and in proper working order.