Numerous companies offer chimney sweep services, but how would you choose one? The maintenance of chimneys is not a choice. If you use the fireplace too often, there will be considerable buildup of creosote, which must be taken care of. Do NOT consider the idea of cleaning of your home chimney like a DIY project, as it might just pose a serious fire hazard. To find the best chimney sweep, you have to consider a few things, some of which are listed below.
Know these services better
First things first, don’t choose any random company that you find on Google. The service industry isn’t regulated as required, and therefore, there are shoddy services around. You will find companies that have no address or office, and they are just making money by offering cheap deals and selling the jobs to subcontractors. While you can always rely on Google for local listings, it’s important to do some initial research.
- Ask around. Talk to your friends, family members, and neighbors to find local services. You can make a small shortlist to evaluate their services further. Alternatively, you can check the reviews of known companies on third party websites to know the experience of other customers.
- Is the company licensed? This is an aspect that you must check before you hire a service to cleaning your chimney. The company must have a physical address and a team of in-house technicians and cleaners.
- Is the company insured? Cleaning and repairing chimneys may involve a few risks. If the company is not insured, any damage to your property will be a personal loss, and you will have to bear the repair and other expenses. In the case of a workplace mishap, you might be held liable to pay for the medical bills of workers and technicians. A professional company will have full insurance cover, including workers’ compensation insurance.
- Is the company certified? If you are in the US, CSIA oversees this department. A company that’s verified and certified is always better than others that are making money through big discounts and deals. As a client, you can ask for the proof of such certification.
- Ask for client references. A known and reputable service will never shy away from offering client references. Call up a few numbers to know a service better. Also, you can check for complaints that are posted online, so that you can evaluate the nature of different grievances against a particular service.
- Do they have in-house technicians? We have mentioned this earlier, but let’s talk in more detail. If a company hires day laborers as and when they have a chimney cleaning contract, you can hardly rely on them, because these are not professional technicians. You need a team that boasts of experienced and trained workers, who have at least five years of experience in cleaning chimneys and dealing with repair work.
Finally, do ask for a quote, which should be inclusive of all costs and expenses, and don’t forget to read the service terms and conditions.