If you get an annual chimney inspection and cleaning, you are doing your part to lower your expenses and to protect your home. This does not mean that everyone else will have the same feelings about protecting your property. Some chimneys do not receive the proper care simply because their owners leave the work to the wrong people. It is important to put the chimney on your annual maintenance checklist, and this is even more important after a storm as there may be damage to the structure.
Who Should do the Work?
Even though some people carry out their own basic chimney cleaning, this will not be at the same level as the work done by a professional. The question is, how do you know which chimney sweep is actually qualified to do the work? The safety of your home, and the efficient use of the chimney depend on the right care, so this should not be left to just anyone who claims to be a chimney sweep. The Chimney Safety Institute of America has set standards for professionals in the industry, and it also offers certification courses. These deal with chimney cleaning, maintenance repairs and basic safety. One of the first steps to knowing that you are dealing with a professional is to ask about CSIA certification or certification from another recognized organization.
One mistake some people make is to hire a chimney sweep because of cheap rates. This is important work that takes time and requires attention to detail. It pays to hire someone who has the right experience and training even if you have to pay more. Do not expect a qualified chimney sweep to offer cheap rates. You can however get a lower rate if you book an appointment early. Rates tend to be higher the closer you get to winter because many people put off chimney cleaning for too long, and sweeps have to respond to a number of service calls at that time. Other tips for getting the right sweep are:
- The sweep should have a business address in addition to a website
- Professional sweeps do not work in street clothes so make sure the technician has a uniform with the company’s name
- Do not deal with any sweep who asks for a large deposit upfront
- Sweeps should be knowledgeable about chimneys and chimney safety, so don’t hesitate to ask questions
If you have a regular chimney sweep who has done quality work, there is no need to search for a new one just to spend less money. The safety of your family and home are the most important concerns, and a clean, well maintained chimney is worth the money. Call us at 610-626-2439 for an appointment for a consultation if you’re in need of a CSIA certified chimney sweep in Drexel Hill or the surrounding area.