You’ve spent all of the cold season enjoying the many benefits of your fireplace; but during that time, it was busy accruing a mess of buildup on the inside (called creosote). The years of smoke and flue gunk begin clinging to the sides of your inner chimney walls, creating what we know as creosote. It is a very normal part of fireplace ownership. The problem with creosote is that if too much accumulates, it can become a giant hazard and ultimately will cause chimney fires.
Cleaning your chimney on your own is always an option, however not many people are willing to embark on such an adventure. For the rest of us (myself included), there is always the option to hire a professional chimney sweep. There are tons and tons of benefits to having it done professionally. Not only will a chimney sweeper be able to get the job done more efficiently, but they will also be able to perform inspections and know if there are any additional problems that should be addressed.
An important thing to keep in mind is that chimney sweeping is an unregulated industry. Unfortunately, there are many fly by night guys out there who are just looking for a quick buck. They tend to scare customers into unnecessary repairs or will even create intentional damage to just to be able to turn around and charge for additional work. There are many things you should look for when hiring a professional chimney cleaning company. Here are few tips:
Any person selling their chimney services for under $100 is most likely a bad choice. There is no economically friendly way to cover overhead costs on that price. These companies are likely to create problems, preying on the fact that the homeowner will not be able to tell they are being duped into providing more profit for the company. A reliable company will be honest with their pricing and charge an honest price.
Getting to know your chimney sweep is really important. Ask them how long they have been in business. Ask for references. Find out if they have had any issues with the better business bureau, and see if they have liability insurance in the case that something were to occur.
Look for Certifications and Memberships
Reliable companies get certified. It’s that simple. Look for certifications from CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America), and the NFI (National Fireplace Institute). Great companies will also affiliate themselves with Memberships to places like the National Chimney Sweep Guild. Never hire a company that doesn’t hold the proper credentials.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your chimney, its maintenance, or hiring a chimney sweep, feel free to give us a call. Our staff can help to point you in the right direction.