9 Consumer Tips on How to Choose a Chimney Sweep.
There are ways to guard yourself and make an informed decision. Review these 9 tips and follow them anytime you are hiring a Chimney Sweep. This will guarantee that you end up with a reputable contractor and pay a fair price for the work done.
We all have heard of the news stories about con-artists who scam homeowners out of deposits for shoddy work, non-existent work or even for work that never needed to be done. The Chimney Sweep business is a prime territory for these shysters to operate. Because many unsuspecting consumers are not educated about fireplaces, stoves, heating appliances and their chimneys or venting systems they are often victimized by these crooks. Most of these operations start with a phone call offering special low prices. Once they are at your home, they may suggest repairs that are needed or safety issues that need to be addressed. Everyone wants to keep their home safe, so many are easy marks for these fake contractors.
#1 – Protect Your Home – Don’t Get Burned /
The proper operation and maintenance of your chimney, stove or furnace systems are of extreme importance. Taking chances by hiring a contractor based on price alone can spell serious trouble for your home and your wallet. The “savings” you may realize, will evaporate quickly if the work is never done or not done up to industry standards. When deciding on a Chimney Sweep choosing a reputable and well qualified company will ensure the safest solution to protect your home and family. Don’t take chances with this important decision.
#2 – Only Hire CSIA Certificated Sweeps /
The most important qualification when hiring, is to look for a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. The standard for training across the country is the Chimney Sweep Institute of America when it comes to the care, maintenance and repair of all fireplace, stove and furnace systems and their venting systems and chimneys. Make sure you see proof of CSIA certification for the technician that will be working on your home. Many companies advertise that they are certified, but only one or two technicians actually have CSIA certification. All the techs at Nayaug wear their CSIA ID as a part of their uniform every day.
#3 – Chimney Sweeps should be members of NCGS /
Another organization that many highly qualified Chimney Sweep companies belong to is the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). This organization is dedicated to promoting professionalism and ongoing education to keep all sweeps up with the latest technologies that are relative to the industry. We are members in good standing of this important group and suggest you look for a contractor belongs to the NCSG.
#4 – Don’t Hire based on a Chimney Sweep Solicitation /
Stop scammers in their tracks, phone solicitors that promise low prices for chimney sweep services should be ignored. Do your research online and ask the important questions in our 9 tips when you call your choices. Reputable companies have detailed websites that contain qualifications, address and information to educate consumers. The phone banks usually will sell their appointments to independent contractors that may not be fully qualified. Many of these independents will produce inferior work results as they cram as many appointments into one day as possible. Most of our customers have been with Nayaug for years because they know they can trust us to do the job right.
#5 – Make Sure Your Chimney Sweep Company is Insured /
Don’t be afraid to ask if the Chimney Sweep Company has insurance that would protect against damage that may occur in your home, or to employees that are working at your home. Find out exactly what their policy covers, asking questions can prevent unnecessary risk. If the contractor has no coverage and gets injured or causes damage to your home you will assume the liability. At Nayaug we carry full insurance that protects you and your home while we work there. It is highly unlikely that anything will ever happen to require insurance, but like the old adage says “better safe than sorry.”
#6 – Look for Proper Identification /
When the contractor arrives, it ok to ask for their identification. They should have a badge or company ID. Our ID’s also have our CSIA credentials, a photo and the technicians name. Take note that they arrive in a marked company truck and that they are wearing a uniform. Don’t ever hire a contractor that shows up at your door with a story like “we were working in the neighborhood…”, make sure you do your homework and hire a professional chimney sweep.
#7 – Professional Attitude and Appearance a Must /
As the customer, you should expect to be treated with courtesy, respect and provided with the answers to any questions that you may have about the work being done. Any work done in your home should leave everything just as clean as it was before the work began. Contractors should be dressed presentably in a company uniform. The nature of the work does result in a bit of soot here and there by the end of the day, but all of our sweeps take pride in acting and looking as professional as possible while delivering the best customer service possible.
#8 – Insist on an Appointment Time Window /
Nobody likes waiting around all day for a contractor to arrive late. When making your appointment the Chimney Sweep you choose should be able to give you a window of a few hours during which the technician will arrive. If the contractor you are interviewing is unsure when they will arrive or not sure they will make it, move on to a company that knows how to schedule work and get it done. At Nayaug, we pride ourselves on being ON-TIME, even if we are running a few minutes past the estimated time of the appointment our sweeps will always call ahead to let you know.
#9 – Ask For Current References /
Any reputable Chimney Sweep company should be able to provide names and phone numbers of customers that are in your general area. Don’t hesitate making a quick call to make sure the reference was happy with the company. There are no excuses for not providing a reference when asked. If this will help your assurance of performance and peace of mind, by all means – ask for references.