The fireplace is often the centerpiece of your home or business. But you want to enjoy that fireplace safely! Making sure your chimney is functioning properly is vital. All chimneys should be inspected annually. After all, your fireplace is a controlled fire. So it’s time for you to call someone out to inspect and clean it, make sure it’s safe. The vital question is: Who are you going to call? It’s an important decision. Much could hang in the balance. How should you decide? What factors are important in choosing the best chimney cleaning service?
Reputation is one good indication of the quality of a chimney cleaning service. Go to prospective chimney repair and cleaning sites. Check for reviews and testimonials. Look for reviews on independent and reliable sites such as Yelp and Google Plus. Check with your neighbors and friends who use chimney cleaning and repair services. Referrals from folks you know carry value.
Any reputable chimney repair or cleaning service will be certified as professionals, by the nationally-recognized Certified Chimney Professional (CCP) certification, for example. This certification lets you know the chimney sweep doing your job will be completely qualified. The NFI Woodburning Certification (National Fireplace Institute) indicates additional competence in the areas of chimney installation or relining. The NFI certificate is based upon Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association’s requirements. All applicants must pass thorough, rigorous examinations to be certified.
Price is always a concern. Who doesn’t love a good deal? But a price that is too good likely signals that something isn’t right. Quality costs: that’s a simple truth. So check to see that the pricing is competitive. Then check every other factor on this list. If all other factors are equal, go with the lowest, best price. But, to be honest, all other factors are rarely equal. So, price should be important, but not the most important concern.
As in any company that you hire to perform work or services on your property, it is vital that they are adequately insured. That insurance coverage should include worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability. They should be willing to give you information concerning their insurance company and limits of coverage. There should be documentation of coverage available, if you’d like to see it.
The company should be able to specify a definite date and time, convenient for you, when they can do the work. Expect confirmation, promptness, and notification that they are on the way.
Choices like this often come down to how you feel you are being treated as a customer. It’s the way you feel when you sit across a desk from a company representative, or discuss your problems on the phone. Are they professional? Is their attitude friendly, one of concern or caring? The intangibles are often the hardest thing to quantify or express. But they may be the most important part of your decision.
It’s worth the time and effort to get the right people to take care of your annual chimney inspection, chimney repairs, and maintenance. The best companies fulfill all these criteria. They are reputable, experienced companies like Midtown Chimney Sweeps: fully insured, with friendly, concerned representatives, a long-standing reputation for quality, backed up by certification, and fair, reasonable pricing.