Choosing a chimney sweep for your home.
The standard for chimney inspections includes having a camera run through the flue of the fireplace.
YOU CANNOT PROPERLY INSPECT A CHIMNEY WITH A FLASHLIGHT.
- The inspection report should be easy to read, and understand. It should include clear photos of any noted problems. It should be comprehensive and include all flues of the chimney, all fireplaces, and all crowns / caps. Make sure your technician explains everything to you clearly, so that you understand it. Make sure that you are comfortable having your technician in your home.
- Always compare apples to apples. Estimates should be easy to understand, and professionally typed and presented. ALWAYS ask for an explanation.
- Price differences are typically because of a difference in the work that is being done.
- Hire a company with a well established reputation. Check social media, and blog posts (Be wary of companies with out of date blogs, and no new posts. This typically means they hired a company to make a fancy website, but aren’t up to date with the information on it). Check websites like YELP and Facebook for customer reviews.
- Hire someone you feel you can trust! You want to be comfortable having this company in your home.
- Safety standards are set by the NFPA 211 (National Fire Protection Agency), make sure all recommended repairs meet these standards. Companies should not ignore these standards, or make up their own.
- Make sure you hire someone who works safely on your chimney. Hire a company with a safety program, who properly uses scaffold, and tie offs. Also make sure they are insured and bonded.
- Make sure you ask for before and after pictures so you can make sure all work was done properly.
Read more about certified chimney professionals, and the chimney inspection process, at the Chimney Safety Institute of America.