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Don’t Get Burned: Safeguarding Against Scams in the Chimney Industry

Because chimney damage is often not visible to the naked eye of the common homeowner, trusting a professional chimney sweep is crucial for keeping your system in check. Unfortunately, less than trustworthy companies and individuals are aware of this making it easy for them to take advantage of unsuspecting chimney and fireplace owners.

These scammers will pray on the fears of uneducated homeowners, claiming to have provided services or repairs that were never given or needed. We’re here to help keep you in the loop about common scam techniques and what you do to avoid falling victim to them.

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Common Chimney Scams


The bait-and-switch is a common scam wherein someone will claim to be a chimney pro who just happened to be in the area offering extremely discounted inspections or cleanings. Once you agree to this service, they’ll “discover” extensive damage or other problems racking up a pricey bill for repairs. The best way to avoid this scam is by carefully vetting the company you hire. Read plenty of reviews and contact the company to set up the appointment yourself.

“Urgent” Repairs

Another popular scamming technique is when a company stresses the need of major repairs that must happen right away. This tactic relies heavily on your desire to keep yourself and your home safe. They will pressure you to commit to these repairs immediately before you have time to properly research the company or ask any more questions about the damage.

False Credentials

Many companies will claim to have certifications they don’t actually have. The only way to avoid this scam is through doing your research! Always take the time to look into the company you’re hiring to make sure their credentials check out and if they don’t, be sure to file a trademark violation complaint with the Chimney Safety Institute of America in order to help save others from their dishonesty in the future.


I’m sure you’ve heard the term “ghosting” before. Ghosting in the chimney sweep industry is when a company asks you to schedule and pay in advance for a service or repair, only to leave you hanging with no follow up or further communication from the company.

Warning Signs to Look For

Now that you know the most common scam techniques, here are a few signs to watch for. If you notice any of these signs, take the time to look into the company before committing to any services.

  1. Unsolicited offers – A professional company is not likely to cold call or appear on your doorstep offering services you didn’t request.
  2. High pressure sales tactics – Pushy salesmen are a major warning sign that the company you’re dealing with may not be trustworthy. Look into the company or get a second opinion before agreeing to any repairs.
  3. No proof of credentials – If a company is unwilling or unable to provide you with proof of their credentials, it is likely because they don’t have any. 

Our Best Tips For Hiring A Reputable Company

The best way to make sure you hire a trustworthy and certified sweep is to research the company. Read reviews, verify their credentials, and think before you hire. If something seems off, it likely is. 

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Taking the time to look into who you hire can not only save you money, but it could keep your chimney safer. An underqualified company may perform shotty repairs leaving your chimney unsafe to use and costing you more down the line when you inevitably must hire another company to solve the problems the scammer may have created.

Chimney Specialists Inc Has Your Back

We believe in transparency, quality work, and quality care. Visit our website today to read real reviews from satisfied customers or contact us through our simple online contact form. We’d love to serve you! Give us a call today at 608-929-4887 to speak to our team and set up your chimney or fireplace service.


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