How To Avoid Chimney Repair Scammers
Now that homeowners across our region are starting to use their furnaces, those with fireplaces will also want to start to use them from time to time. Unfortunately, less than reputable individuals know this and will try to scam owners out of their money. Here are six warning signs to avoid chimney repair scams.
They come knocking on your door
The first warning sign isn’t necessarily always indicative of a scam, but it’s definitely a yellow flag. Most reputable businesses will wait for customers to come to them. Some startups may still use door-to-door sales tactics, though be sure to run what they say through our next five warning signs.
They ask for payment in full before beginning any work.
Simply put, any firm that asks for 100% money down before any work begins is likely a scam. We’d even advise caution at 50% down, especially if the salesperson is offering an unsolicited estimate simply by looking at your chimney from the ground level. A true estimate involves getting up on the roof and inspecting the inside of your chimney.
They can’t provide proof of insurance or a physical place of business.
Professional business operations will always have insurance to protect both the firm and the employees that work for it. The solicitor should always always be able to provide proof of insurance. Likewise, a physical location is a must. For example, if you want to visit our Chimney Specialists’ offices (say, to apply for a job), we’re located at 869 North Main Street in Highland, WI.
In other words, if one or both of these are missing, you’ve likely encountered a chimney repair scam.
Their process is unclear.
Ask questions if you’re wondering if you’ve encountered a chimney repair scam. For example, ask them how they clean the chimney. Ask for a timeline of the inspection and chimney sweep process. Specifically, ask if they’ll need access to the roof (hint: if they say no, it’s a scam).
Ask them how they deal with creosote. If they stumble or can’t answer this one, thank them for their time and close the door.
They have no company history or references.
Everyone has to start somewhere. At one point, every company was a startup. We’re in no way diminishing those looking to build a business for themselves.
However, chimney maintenance is a trade that takes time. A new business should have years of experience working for another company. At the very least, they should be able to provide references.
If they lack history and any experience in the industry period, it’s likely a sign of a chimney repair scam.
They lack credentials.
Even if they can provide some kind of reference, the next thing to look for is credentials. Most professional chimney companies will be CSIA-certified. Ask for their credentials and research what they provide.
Avoid chimney repair scams by working with a reputable business
Your safest and best bet for your yearly chimney sweep, inspection, and ongoing maintenance is to work with a reputable business. Professional firms can provide all of the necessary documentation attesting to their skills, experience, and certifications.
That’s where we come in. If you’re looking to avoid chimney repair scams, then contact the team at Chimney Specialists, Inc by calling (608) 929-4887 or reach out to us with our handy contact form.