Peace of mind
comes from finding peace at home, and one of the best ways to ensure this is
finding trustworthy service providers to keep your home running smoothly. But
sometimes, it can be difficult determining just what to look for when choosing
a source or contractor for homes services. When dealing with your fireplace and
chimney, your homes’ safety is also at hand. Don’t be scammed by disreputable providers
begging for your business – keep on the lookout for these warning signs.
1. Avoid Door-To-Door Offers and Unsolicited Phone Calls
This is a prevalent scam
tactic in many areas, where potential hustlers will canvass specific areas and
neighborhoods, either on-foot or over the phone. Generally, they will provide
special, immediate pricing deals, or present a catastrophic condition that
needs an immediate, costly repair to your chimney.
Don’t hire these
contractors, and certainly don’t provide them with a potential deposit for
work, until you have secured their official business name and verified their
legitimacy through a third-party source, such as Angie’s List or the Better
2. Look for the Certification
Similar to many other
trades, professional chimney sweeps and technicians can gain accreditation and
certification — in this case, through the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America). Earning
certification through the CSIA ensures t the business you are working has met
the CSIA’s national safety standards, as well as abides by their established
Code of Ethics. This is re-enforced by the CSIA’s non-profit status, meaning
the institute does not issue certifications for direct payments, but rather,
requires rigorous education and testing to earn a certification.
If a contractor does not
have certification with the CSIA, proceed with caution.
3. Be Wary of High-Stakes Sales Tactics
If a contractor is
pressuring you into completing work immediately, consider pumping the breaks.
Scare tactics and high-pressure sales techniques are generally avoided by
professionals who have your best interests in mind. Much like a medical
diagnosis, consider getting a second opinion from another reputable business
before moving forward with repairs.
4. Check the References
Similar to the above, ensure
the company does not have any outstanding complaints lodged against them with
professional oversight groups, such as the BBB. Additionally, word of mouth
still holds a high amount of clout in today’s business world. If you have a
trusted friend, co-worker, family member, or neighbor who has worked with the
company before, get their opinion.
5. Knowledge is Power
There are a number of
research tools available to consumers today. Conducting a thorough search
online for company details is invaluable before committing to hiring one
company over another. If you feel like a company is sending out the wrong
message for whatever reason — you’ve never heard of the business name before,
the contractors appear without uniforms or branded vehicles, or if they’re
being overly pushy about beginning work — cross-reference their name in an
online search. If you’re unable to find a reputable resource listing their
name, their contact information, and their licensing information, be wary about
allowing them into your home.
It you are looking for a trusted, certified,
professional chimney service provide to conduct an annual chimney cleaning, safety
inspection or make repairs, Lindemann Chimney & Fireplace is a premiere
provider on Chicago’s Northshore. Schedule your appointment now.
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