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What To Look For When Hiring A Chimney Sweep

Having a cozy fireplace is one of the simple pleasures of homeownership. There's nothing quite like curling up on the couch with a good book or movie while the crackling flames provide warmth and ambiance.


But along with that enjoyment comes an important responsibility – keeping your chimney clean and safe. That's where chimney sweeps come in. But how do you find a good one?



Hiring A Chimney Sweep

Certifications and experience


The first thing you'll want to look at is the chimney sweep's training and credentials. Ideally, a reputable establishment such as the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) should have certified them.


With this qualification, you can be assured they've received the appropriate training in the latest techniques along with security processes for inspecting and cleaning chimneys.

 

In addition to certifications, find out how many years of experience the chimney sweep has under their belt. An experienced pro will have encountered all sorts of chimneys and situations, allowing them to handle better any challenges that may come up with your chimney.


Generally, you'll want someone with at least 3-5 years in the business.

 

Services offered


Chimney sweeps offer a range of services beyond just cleaning the flue. A comprehensive chimney sweep company should provide inspections, repairs, relining, cap installations, and more. That way, you have a one-stop shop for all your chimney needs.


Many chimney inspection Seattle companies offer these all-in-one packages.

 

An important service is the chimney inspection. During an inspection, the sweep will use video scanning equipment to get a close-up look inside your chimney.


This allows them to check for cracked flue tiles, buildup of creosote (a flammable residue), animal nests, and other potential hazards or blockages.

 

Customer reviews and reputation


It's easy to check up on a chimney sweep's reputation and reviews from past customers. Check review sites like Yelp or Google.


But don't just look at the overall star rating – read through the actual written reviews. This will give you a sense of what the customer experience and quality of work is really like.

 

Like with many household repairs, you can also ask friends, neighbors, or your local fire department if they have any recommendations for good chimney sweeps in your area. Sometimes, word-of-mouth can be the best way to find reliable service providers.

 

Insurance and warranties


Safety should be the top priority when hiring someone to work on your home. That's why you'll want to ensure the chimney sweep is properly insured and bonded. Request documentation of their worker's compensation and insurance for liability policies. This safeguards you in the event that there are any accidents, complications, or property damage while the job is being done.

 

Additionally, see if the company offers any warranties on their services or materials used. A strong warranty shows that they are confident in the quality of their job.


Hiring A Chimney Sweep

 

Professionalism and customer service


Even with all the right credentials, poor customer service can ruin the experience of hiring a chimney sweep. Take note of how responsive and communicative they are from your initial contact and throughout the hiring process. Are they providing clear information, showing up on time for appointments, and being respectful of your home?

 

The best chimney sweeps will take the time to explain everything to you, point out any issues they find, make repair recommendations, and educate you on how to maintain your chimney going forward. You want someone who is knowledgeable, professional, and has your best interests in mind – not just trying to pull a quick job.

 

Pricing and policies


Of course, pricing is also a key consideration when hiring any service provider. But cheaper isn't always better, especially when it comes to chimneys and fire safety. Get quotes from 2-3 different chimney sweep companies and compare the price along with everything that's included in their services. 

 

Also, inquire about any service fees, travel charges, or additional costs that could get tacked on. A reputable company will have their pricing and policies clearly spelled out so there are no surprises later.


Conclusion


You cannot save by hiring an unskilled or inexperienced chimney sweeper when it comes to preserving the safety and functioning of your fireplace and chimney.


Don't ever try to do it yourself if you have no experience; it could result in injury, health hazards, or making the situation even worse. Do your research, check their credentials and reputation, and look for true professionals who take pride in their work.


With the right chimney sweep on the job, you can relax and enjoy those cozy nights by the fire with peace of mind.


 
Seasonsincolour.com blog

Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched the award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.


Download her free bathroom renovation guide here.

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