Ahhh… Fall is in the air. The nights are starting to feel a little cooler, kids are going back to school, and it’s time for all of the chimney repair scammers and bogus chimney sweeps to come out of the woodwork. The number-one thing to remember is that a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep won’t go door to door knocking on them to drum up business. We won’t just show up unannounced to tell you that we saw damage on your chimney from the road. Don’t trust any chimney sweep that just shows up at your door. Here are other ways to avoid chimney scams this year:

It’s That Time Again: Chimney scam artists always wait till fall to make their appearance because that’s when people are scrambling to get their chimneys looked at before winter. The best way to avoid this is to have your annual inspection and cleaning scheduled in advance or performed during the summer months.

Watch for Super Low Pricing: Chimney work is dirty work; it’s hard work. It is not cheap work. Don’t trust anyone who shows up or leaves a flyer on your door offering a $99 inspection and cleaning as a promotional price or as an introductory price.

Ask for References: Most scammers can’t provide valid references. References can be faked, so make sure to ask the referring party about specific things regarding the type or quality of work the person does.

Ask for Proof of Certification and Insurance: CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps have no qualms about sharing proof of our certifications. We’ve worked hard for them and we’re proud of them. We can also show proof of insurance to show that we are not a liability climbing onto your roof.

Ask for Social Media Information: Most valid businesses have a social media presence because it’s a great marketing tool. You’re here reading our blog, so feel free to hop on over to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what we’re up to and what people are saying about us.

Don’t Hire on the Spot: Snap hiring decisions because someone says your chimney is falling will likely result in a scam. Always check references, certifications, and proof of insurance.

Don’t Pay before Services are Rendered: A scam artist will tell you that you have to pay half up front or maybe even the entire amount. Don’t write checks or pay with your credit or debit card without making sure they’re legitimate.

Give us a call here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service at 610-626-2439 if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps. We will take the time to talk with you about your fireplace and chimney use, and make inspection and cleaning recommendations to fit your normal usage.