I’ve previously written about this topic, so I hope this doesn’t feel terribly repetitive. I just feel that it needs to be discussed, and often, by someone who cares about the industry. Click here and then click to play the video to see the news spot that covered how people claim to be chimney sweeps but fraudulently take your money, never to be seen or heard from again.
The video covers some great ways to avoid chimney related scams. I’d like to go over some of those in detail, starting with what I feel is the most important fact that needs to be widely known – Certified chimney sweeps don’t just show up unannounced, without an appointment, and start work.
Chimney Sweep is Not a Door-to-Door Same-Day Service
Some of the most successful fraudulent chimney sweeps in the area just show up unannounced to inform you that your chimney is in disrepair and it has to be fixed. Right now. They may even have the proper equipment to repair problems on hand, but don’t trust them before you do your research. Start by visiting their website – if they have one. (Chances are, they don’t.) Check their certifications online. I share all of my certifications on my website because I want you to know you’re dealing with a professional.
A professional may even keep their long-term customers updated on personal business development such as becoming incorporated. I was very excited to incorporate my business, so I made a note to share that with anyone who regularly reads my blog or just visits my website because I believe a business is a growing entity and must evolve. I have proudly been incorporated for one year this month.
Any certified chimney sweep should be able to provide proof of certification with the CSIA, Chimney Safety Institute of America. I also hold multiple certifications from Fireplace Investigation, Research, and Education (F.I.R.E), National Fireplace Institute (NFI), and the International Association of Fireplace and Chimney Inspectors (IAFCI). Please don’t trust your chimney, fireplace, or dryer vent to anyone who cannot show you proof of these certifications.
I’m proud to say that I own a local business here in Delaware County, PA. My business has grown strong through the years because of my dedication and appreciation for my craft. The homeowners I’ve worked with are often people I’ve known for years, or worked with from time to time. They’re Philly residents, and Delaware County residents just like you. I truly appreciate my repeat customers, and I prove it by offering chimney sweep coupons for repeat customers. I mail them out each year, so if you’ve been a customer but you haven’t received your customer appreciation coupon please email me or call me and I’ll get that taken care of as soon as possible.