Homeownership is full of surprises that we didn’t expect when we were simply chasing the American Dream. We are often caught off guard with things like the number of light bulbs we’ll go through every year, dealing with the insanely high pitched beep of the smoke alarm when the battery is getting low, and the weird smells that come out of the chimney after it sits dormant for the summer.
The costs involved with homeownership go far beyond a mortgage, taxes, and insurance. We often have to hire someone to repair the plumbing, electrical system, HVAC, chimney, and wood burning appliances. The best way to deal with those costs is to ensure that you don’t fall for scams along the way. Many of us don’t really know what to look for or which questions to ask before we invite a professional repairman into our home. So that’s what we’re going to focus on today – how to hire a chimney sweep without getting burned.
- Quality over Quantity: Don’t hire a cheap chimney sweep simply to save a few bucks. Remember, as with everything else in life, you get what you pay for. If you want a Maserati, don’t pay for a suped up BMW. It just isn’t the same.
- Request Certifications: Anyone can say they’re certified, but without the certification number or proof through the CSIA website, you’re taking a gamble. Visit the CSIA website and search for a chimney sweep within 50 miles of your current town name and if you’re in my service area, you’ll see my information as well as my brother Dave. We’re both CSIA Certified and CDET Certified. Visit the home page on my website to see other certifications I hold.
- Don’t fall for Phone Solicitors: We don’t sit around calling people or go door to door to offer our services. Don’t ever schedule an appointment and offer your credit card information to someone who just calls you out of the blue offering discounted services.
- Request Insurance Information: True professionals carry insurance to protect themselves and you as well, should injury happen at your home.
- Professionalism: We believe that the customer is always right and deserving of our respect. Never deal with someone who treats you with disrespect. You’ve invited them onto your property to perform a job, not to be rude to you.
- Time Window: Ask about a time window when you schedule the appointment. You will likely have a specific appointment time, but we all understand that traffic happens from time to time. No one likes to be kept waiting for hours on end, we completely understand.
- References: Everyone should be able to provide references of some sort. Always take the time to Google your chosen chimney sweep to make sure they have good references.
Fall and winter are the best times for scammers to take advantage of people with a chimney. Make sure to follow the rules I’ve outlined here and stay safe from scammers this year. Visit my website and watch the video in the About Us section of the home page for more information about how scammers target specific people. Lou Curley Chimney Service is located in Drexel Hill and we provide all types of chimney services throughout the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.