When you’re ready to hire a chimney sweep, you should always start with some Q&A. A good sweep will take the time to explain the process and show credentials and references. Here are a few good questions that every sweep should be able to answer.
How many years have you been in business? You’re going to want to hire a chimney sweep who knows what he’s doing. Hiring someone who’s been in the business for less than five years doesn’t give you much security. An established sweep is one who has not only experience but has been around long enough that other customers can tell you whether or not he’s worth your money – we’re here since 1987.
Got references? This kind of goes hand in hand with experience. If a chimney sweep has been in business a while, then he should have a decent number of happy customers who will be willing to provide good references. It’s a little old fashioned, but it’s probably one of the best ways to know you’ve got the right man for the job. Check available resources like the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, to you to see if there are any unresolved complaints.
Are you a CSIA certified sweep? Any sweep worth his salt will be certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. The CSIA stamp of approval requires a sweep to maintain knowledge and adherence to safety and building codes, as well as a point-by-point service to your chimney. It’s worth pointing out here that you never want to hire someone ‘off the street’. A lot of homeowners get swindled by a guy who knocks on their door, assuring them that he just got finished with your neighbor Frank’s chimney and he wondered if he could give you a good deal while he was at it. The CSIA website makes it easy to verify if your sweep is certified by providing a lookup tool.
Are you insured? Everyone’s got to have insurance these days, and a chimney sweep is no exception. This protects you in the event that there is any unexpected damage or accident.
At Owens Chimney, we’ve been in the sweeping business since 1987, which means we’ve been doing this for 26 years. I’m a CSIA certified sweep, and all my technicians are certified as well. We’re accredited members of the BBB (which means we’ve got happy customers), as well as 10 years in the running as a Super Service Award Winner with Angie’s List, and we carry insurance. But don’t just take my written word for it—give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer whatever questions you have.