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Avoid the Chimney Sweep Scam

Your Chimney Sweep, did he find you or did you find him? Read more.

  • Do not hire Chimney Sweeps that call you, they are Scammers!
  • Look for a local Certified Chimney Sweep from the Chimney Safety Institute of America WWW.CSIA.ORG (Individuals are certified, not company’s and they should be able to show you their picture ID) and is their company a member of The National Chimney Sweep Guild WWW.NCSG.ORG (companies are member not individuals.)
  • Be sure they are a licensed Home Improvement Contractor with that number on there business card and bill head (that is the law in NY and CT)
  • Ask for a certificate of insurance including Workers Comp
  • Get more than one estimate, inspection (don’t tell them what you know, let them tell you what they find and why some thing is needed).
  • Check out your Chimney Sweep, www.bbb.org, Angie’s List, your heating company, family and friends
  • Have your chimneys and vents checked every year by a CSIA certified chimney sweep before using them or any time you experience any problems.

For more info visit www.Jamesballchimney.com "We Kick Ash"

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

James Ball May 29, 2012 at 05:33 PM
1st not all Home Inspectors know what to look for in a chimney or dryer vent, 2nd a normal Chimney cleaning runs between $100.00-$200.00, so you can see how they try to "up sell you", these are the Scammer Sweeps to look out for. "$15 Chimney Cleaning sounds to good to be true" When we inspect a chimney I point out what is needed, explain why, and get you an estimate for that work, then wait to hear from you, never a hard sell, if we find a "Blocked Chimney" for example and I tell you it will cost $1.00 (or what ever it might be) to clean it and you say "no thank you" I may have you sign some thing so I can say I warned you how dangerous it could be. Chimneys and Vents should be checked every year and it is best to do it now in the slower time of the year, when the fall starts September 1st- March is the busy time for all sweeps and you could wait 2 months for an appointment.
Sam Mihailoff May 29, 2012 at 05:35 PM
said they can't make any money on a $15 cleaning. well...at least that part was honest
James Ball May 29, 2012 at 06:23 PM
True, that part was honest but this is how they Scam you with really cheap price, they pray on the elderly, "we have that liner in the truck" they also try to scare you with Co poisoning which can happen. If you ever feel pressured or scared, call a Certified Sweep or your heating contractor and tell them what the Scammer told you, also "Get It In Writing" "We Kick Ash" Jamesballchimney@aol.com
Bonnie Sinclair May 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Hi James, I fell victim to one of the "scammers" because they used a familiar company name. I was called by the nicest but persistent woman. When I researched the company on the BBB website they looked great! The guys looked less than professional when they arrived and caused a puff back into my entire house. The moral of the story is as you mentioned in your article you should call them not have them call you. B. Sinclair
James Ball May 31, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Bonnie I am so sorry to hear you where "scammed" by these crooks, has the chimney been looked at since and/or corrected? They could have made your home very unsafe. www.Jamesballchimney@aol.com "We Kick Ash"

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