Every year there are a number of house fires that happened in the U.S. due to clogged chimneys; resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage. All of this could easily have been avoided if the services of a competent chimney sweep had been requisitioned by these hapless homeowners.
The thing about hiring a great chimney sweep is that sometimes it becomes difficult to find one, on account of the plethora of chimney sweeps that offer their services in the market. What compounds the matters is the fact that the chimney sweep industry is not a regulated one and anyone can legally set up a chimney sweep business, without really having to qualify for the privilege in any way.
This however does not mean that you don’t display any discretion of your own. After all, it is the safety of your home and business at stake, and you can’t be hiring the very first purported chimney sweep that turns up at your place. Here’s how you can identify a great chimney sweep.
In spite of the fact that one does not really need any official permission to set up a chimney sweep business, one becomes a great chimney sweep only with experience. Only someone who knows the nitty-gritty of the chimney sweeping process including the challenges that one might face will be able to do a good job of it. So don’t go ahead and hire someone just because they offer you a low price. Hire someone who is experienced and competent.
Any chimney sweep who claims to be highly experienced should be asked to furnish client testimonials. If they can make you speak to them, that’s even better. It is all very well for chimney sweeps to make tall claims about their competence, but they should be able to back it up.
Considering that there are so many flies night operators offering chimney cleaning services, you really have to make a decision based upon how professional those people are in their dealings with you. Do they receive your call with efficiency and courtesy? Do they keep their time commitments?
When they visit your place do they wear a professional uniform that identifies the organization that they represent? Do they carry the right tools of the trade? These are the things that will let you find out whether the people who represent themselves as being outstanding chimney sweeps are indeed that.
Chimney sweeping can be a messy and sometimes a dangerous process. Though for the great chimney sweep professionals it is nothing more than a day at work, it is a good idea for you to hire a company that has insurance coverage against any inadvertent damage to property or any injury suffered during the chimney sweep process.
Not that you expect such a thing to happen, but if you do, you could be saddled with a very fat bill indeed. Thus we see that even though a chimney sweep may not need to go through a rigorous licensing procedure to be in business, there is nothing that stops you from setting up your own rigorous chimney sweep selection process.
There’s an extra reason to be very careful in selecting a chimney sweep and that is the prevalence of a telemarketing scam which involves one being offered unbelievably low rates for the sweeping of one’s chimney. If you accept their offer, the people who turn up to clean your chimney will not really be very good at their job and you would have taken all the trouble for nothing. Besides, some of them are known to be criminals, who could harm you and your family.
It is far better to pay the right price and hire a professional and well-regarded chimney sweep who will do an excellent job of sweeping your chimney than fall for a low price offered by some chimney sweep you don’t know anything about. This will ensure that your heating will be efficient and your fuel bills will be lower.
Besides, you would no longer be at risk from a house fire or harmful smoke leaking into your home from the chimney. You can be at peace basking in the warmth of your fireplace, through the cold of the winter months.