What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Chimney Sweep
Any time you bring a service technician to your home to work on any component inside or outside the home, you should proceed with both eyes open. A good tech can be a lifesaver, whereas one who isn’t right for the job can cost you a lot of time and money. Hiring a chimney sweep can be a little confusing for some homeowners who ask, How do we know he’s any good? How much experience should he have? What qualifies him to clean my chimney?
Here are some things that will help you when hiring a chimney sweep.
1. Interest. When you make the initial call, does the person on the other end sound motivated to do business with you? If the person doesn’t seem interested in helping you with your chimney issues, he’s probably not the right one to hire.
2. Experience. While a new chimney sweep just starting out may be able to do an excellent job for you, this person (or company) has no track record. A solid five to 10 years’ experience shows you that they’re in it for the long haul and are serious about the business.
3. References/testimonials. Any professional services provider should have at the ready phone numbers of satisfied customers that a new customer can contact. You probably can find testimonials on the provider’s website, as well. Make a few calls and read some testimonials before deciding who to hire. This is a very useful step, because most people will be honest about their experience with a particular company who did work at their home.
4. Services. Often your best chimney sweeps are the ones that offer a full scope of services. This shows that the outfit is doing everything it can to meet the wide variety of needs its customers might have. Aside from chimney cleaning, a good technician can also provide complete fireplace system inspection and repair work and may even be experienced in the installation of fireplaces, chimney liners, chimney caps and other components.
5. Associations. There are no official regulations for the chimney sweep industry, but a good service provider likely will belong to some key organizations such as the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the National Fire Institute. A certification called “Certified Chimney Professional” is an indicator that the chimney sweep, or company, has proven skill in chimney cleaning and related disciplines.
6. Insurance. Before hiring a chimney sweep, you need to see documentation of his or her professional insurance coverage. The policy should cover damage to any part of your home during a job as well as job-related injuries to any individuals, including the chimney sweep.
Guardian Chimney Sweep of Houston will meet or exceed your expectations in all these areas. Since 2007, we’ve been providing homeowners in the greater Houston area with the very best in chimney cleaning, maintenance, inspection, repair and installation services. Call us at (713) 401-2011 and tell us how we can help you.