Like any other home improvement or repair service, there are companies and individuals who claim to be experienced in chimney repairs and installation, but in reality, they are scam artists. Once they’ve completed the cleaning or “free” inspection, the scam artist tells the homeowner major problems were found, and expensive chimney repairs need to be completed to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents.
Like other contractors, legitimate chimney contractors hold professional certifications and are licensed to perform chimney and fireplace repairs. Hiring a reputable contractor will not only save you money in the long run, it will ensure the work will be performed to a professional standard.
Here are 4 tips to help you find the best chimney cleaning and repair service in the Atlanta Metro area.
Avoid the Solicitors
A too-good-to-be-true price for chimney cleaning or repairs is likely a scam. Don’t allow an unsolicited contractor to perform an inspection, cleaning, or repair work on your chimney. Chances are, the work won’t be completed, or the quality of the work will be sub-par. Whether you are contacted out of the blue over the phone, or someone shows up at your door, decline their services. Here are some additional hints that you could be dealing with a scam artist:
- They only accept cash or require payment up front.
- They may offer an exceptionally long guarantee.
- They tell you that you will need to secure any permits required.
- They offer a loan through a lender he or she knows to pay for the work required.
Neighbors and family members are great sources for finding good home repair contractors. Check out the work that was performed, and verify that they were satisfied with the results. Ask if the work was completed on schedule and if the crew showed up on time. It’s also important to find out if the crew cleaned up after the repairs and if there was any damage to the property. If so, did the contractor repair the damage satisfactorily?
Certifications and Licenses
Chimney professionals likely belong to the local Better Business Bureau and are certified through one or more of these organizations:
- Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certification is earned through an examination, and those who earn the certification agree to a code of ethics.
- National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) members also agree to a code of ethics and agree to a higher standard of performance and professional behavior.
- Licenses should be verified through the state or local entity that issued them to the contractor.
Legitimate contractors provide a website that not only provides a list of their certifications and experience, but also offers other details about their operation—number of years in business, locations and contact information, and areas of expertise. You should also find customer reviews and pictures of work the company has completed.
Whether you are seeking a contractor to replace those fireplace inserts, or to stop that chimney from leaking in Marietta, GA, taking the extra steps to find the best chimney repair in Alpharetta and the Atlanta Metro area will not only save you money, but will provide peace of mind due to a job well done.