Fireplaces are becoming a common feature in many homes. They are loved for their aesthetic values as well as being a dear source of warmth during the chilling winter season. But the cozying and snuggling up near the flames with family and friends come with the responsibility of ensuring the fireplace and chimney are inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep company.
Because of the rising need and importance of regular chimney cleaning, scammers are eager to take advantage of any homeowner’s need to keep their fireplace maintained. You do not want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a supposed cleaning, inspection or repair by a scammer. This article is dedicated to helping you avoid scammers.
How do scammers work differently from a trusted Chimney Sweep Company?
It is easier to figure out a faulty automatic garage door than to detect why smoke is engulfing your room every time you light that fire. And when it rains and your chimney leaks, the signs are never that obvious. Scammers take advantage of this lack of understanding by homeowners on matters of their chimney to rip them off their money.
- Be wary of those fraudulent individuals knocking on a homeowner’s door offering a deal on a chimney cleaning service because he or she is in the neighborhood. They may look and sound legit, even spend time around the chimney given chance but will leave without doing anything tangible.
- Yet other fakes take a deposit for a scheduled appointment only to disappear. Some criminals go as far as issuing fake referrals to rob unsuspecting clients. As you might have learned, the best defense against these fraudsters is knowledge.
- High-pressure sales are a conning tactic and must be treated as a red flag. They pitch the service with a one-and-done tone, showing up your door to claim costly repairs or products are needed immediately to prevent serious problems like carbon monoxide leaks or chimney fires. During their investigative work, they look very concerned and inform you of an imminent fire hazard.
- When you are presented with details of imminent danger, you agree to a chimney cleaning service and then they hit you with a quote of thousands of dollars.
- Many of these fraudsters start with a solicitation call, which usually sounds legitimate. The telemarketers claim they are from a reputable chimney sweep company and are covering your area in the case to service any homeowners with fireplace chimneys.
- Once you take the bait, they hand you over to the highest bidder. Doing a proper job is the least of their worries; they are out to mint as much money as possible from your neighborhood. A chimney sweep company that does not have a legit background and online presence is not to be trusted.
- Another way that scammers bait homeowners into hiring them is by claiming that they are from your utility provider. The fraudsters will often use photos that they claim is of your chimney or fireplace. The photos will show chimney damage or creosote buildup, and they will usually look severe. However, the photos are not current and are not from your chimney.
How to Avoid the Chimney sweep scam
Whenever you are looking to hire someone to inspect, clean, or repair your fireplace or chimney, make sure that you are hiring a qualified chimney sweep from a reputable chimney sweep company. Contracting a reputable chimney sweep company is not a difficult task. Here are a few tips.
-Before you agree to hire a sweep, check their reviews on their website and on legit review platforms. Check specifically for reviews that match the type of service that you are looking for.
-Request bids from at least three companies. This will allow you to gauge the standard rates to avoid the under or overpricing scammers. An average chimney sweeping service range from $120 to $250, depending on the type of fireplace and its condition.
-Reputable and legit companies do not make odd calls to gain your service. Utility providers do not make Chimney sweep referrals. The same goes for door-to-door solicitors. Decline their offers.
-If a chimney contractor starts using scare tactics, be cautious. Always get a second opinion. If they have photos showing extensive damage or creosote build-up, be cautious and reasonably skeptical.
-A reliable chimney sweep company has sweeps recognized by the concerned authorities and other reputed chimney sweep company guilds. Opt for companies who have been in the industry for several years, and are verified.
We are a reputable chimney sweep company with experience spanning many years. Our sweeps are well-trained, professional, and qualified. Reach us today by filling the contact form today.