How to Choose a Chimney Sweep
A responsible homeowner knows that they should have their chimney inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep at least once a year. However, the problem often comes when they need to choose a chimney sweep to get the job done. How do you know who to trust to ensure the safety and efficiency of your heating system? There are a few guidelines that anyone can follow to make sure the job is done right.
The best place to start when looking for a chimney sweep is with friends and family members who also have chimneys in their homes. Ask them which company they use to maintain their chimney and how they felt about the experience. These people will not be invested in the company and will therefore have no problem giving their unbiased opinion. They will be able to speak to the chimney sweep’s ability but also to their professionalism and customer service. If no one has a good recommendation, consider contacting the Better Business Bureau for a recommendation of a reputable company.
Even after speaking with someone who can make an informed recommendation, it is important to do some independent research before making a decision. When speaking with the company for the first time, be sure to ask if they have contact information for recent customer references. It is important to make sure that references are current in order to get the most accurate information. A less recent client may have dealt with someone who is no longer with the company and is not indicative of the service they provide now.
Another thing to consider is that many chimney sweep companies get a great deal of their business through word of mouth. For this reason, it is important to ask for how long the company has been in business. If a company has been providing consistent, subpar service in a community, it is unlikely that they will stay in business for very long. This will also give an indication of how experienced the individual chimney sweeps are likely to be.
Many people do not realize that it takes a special certification to become a chimney sweep. All reputable chimney sweeps are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. However, this does not mean that every technician working for a given company is certified. Before making an appointment, make sure the company can ensure a certified technician will actually be the one to do the job.
After doing all of this legwork, it is reasonable to expect that the chimney cleaning will go off without a hitch. However, even the most experienced and reliable chimney sweeps have been known to have accidents from time to time. It is necessary to choose a company that can provide proof of insurance for all workers. This will ensure that everyone is protected in the event of an injury or if there is any damage to the chimney and fireplace.
Finding a reliable chimney sweep is an important task because the chimney and fireplace are such vital parts of the home. After asking friends and relatives for recommendations, do not forget to ask the company themselves for recent references. Make sure that the chosen company is insured and can guarantee a chimney sweep that is certified by the CSIA. Taking all of these steps will ensure that the home has a clean and safe chimney.