What to Look For When Hiring a Chimney Sweep
You know it’s important to keep your chimney clean. However, if you use Google or social media, you’ll find no shortage of people advertising chimney-sweeping services. Whether it’s a large company or a friend who knows someone, you want to be confident you’re getting the best value for your money, and the job is done thoroughly so you and your family are safe.
Here are the top things to look for when hiring a chimney sweep.
Certifications and Training
You shouldn’t hire an uncertified electrician to do your home’s wiring, nor should you hire an uncertified or untrained chimney sweep. Why? Certified Chimney sweeps have undergone extensive training and passed exams to ensure they are qualified to perform their job safely and effectively, just like the electrician mentioned earlier. They are also required to keep up with the latest safety and technical standards in the industry which is something you don’t typically get with a local handyman. Furthermore, professional chimney sweeps can detect chimney and fireplace masonry damage that could lead to a fire, damage that is likely missed by the untrained eye.
While certifications demonstrate the contractor has the theoretical knowledge, experience shows they’ve successfully used that knowledge in the real world. Ask the individual or company you’re considering hiring how long they’ve been in business and the scope of their work. A long history of experience often yields better, more satisfactory results and reduces the chance of something going wrong.
Anyone working in or around your home must have insurance in case any damage occurs, or someone gets injured. A reputable chimney sweep will carry liability and worker’s compensation insurance.
References and Reviews
Personal recommendations are an excellent place to start. Ask your friends, co-workers, and neighbors who they recommend and what their experience was. Additionally, check online reviews from Yelp or Google and look for feedback on the company’s timeliness, professionalism, cost, and quality of service. Also, look for positive feedback from the company because it suggests they value their customers and are committed to their satisfaction.
Another thing you want in a chimney sweep is professionalism; you can gauge that by your first impression. How did they answer your email or phone call? Were they courteous? Did they answer your questions satisfactorily? Reputable companies that want your business go out of their way to respect potential customers by conducting themselves professionally in every encounter.
Reputable chimney sweeps will be transparent and upfront about pricing. Beware of those offering deals that are too good to be true because it typically means they’re cutting corners, and that’s the last thing you want. Ask for a detailed estimate and ensure there are no hidden costs. Make sure you understand what work you’re paying for and get multiple estimates if possible.
Tools and Equipment
One reason it’s best to hire a pro to clean your chimney instead of doing it yourself is they have access to specialized tools and equipment to do the job more thoroughly. Modern chimney sweeps use advanced tools like video scanners to inspect the
chimney’s interior, and it’s good to know the company is using the best stuff for your peace of mind.
Respect for Your Property
Chimney and fireplace cleaning is a dirty job; the last thing you want is soot and ash tracked throughout your house. Ask the company you’re considering if they wear shoe coverings and use drop cloths or tarps to protect your furniture and floors. And, if they do make a mess, will they clean it up before they’re done?
Look for a company affiliated with professional associations like the Chimney Safety Institute of America, the National Fireplace Institute, or the National Chimney Sweep Guild. That suggests they’re committed to staying updated with the latest industry practices and technologies.
Hiring the right chimney sweep is more than just ensuring you have a clean chimney; it’s about the safety of your home and family. Do your due diligence, ask the right questions, check reviews, and trust your gut. Contact Mercer County Chimney Service
If you’re looking for a reliable chimney sweep with hundreds of satisfied customers and years of experience, look no further than Mercer County Chimney Service. We’re fully licensed and insured, and our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute.
Call us for all of your chimney and fireplace needs at 609-802-5288.