Protect Yourself Against Chimney Scams

It seems like everywhere we turn, there’s another scam to watch out for. Chimney service scams have been going on for a long time, so it’s smart to arm yourself against them.

National Chimney Cleaners of Fairfield County, CT, and Morris County, NJ, would like to share some helpful information that will help you protect yourself against chimney scams.

Chimney Repairs near in Bridgeport CTChimney service scam

Generally, we’re talking about unqualified individuals running a “chimney business” in order to make a fast buck. These people may operate indefinitely in a given area, but they also may move from locale to locale after the “heat” starts coming down.

In either case, here are eight common characteristics of a chimney service scam.

  1. Scare tactics

A scam may involve a free or low-cost chimney inspection that will turn up something that would be very dangerous, should the problem actually exist. A chimney flue that’s ready to catch fire, a chimney stack that’s about to collapse, a venting clearance that’s unsafe and in violation of code – these are common starting points of a scam.

  1. Amazingly low price

Beware of estimates that sound ridiculously low. Scammers will try to rope you in on an impulse buy with offers like:

  • “We’ll remove every inch of creosote from your chimney for just $49”
  • “Get your chimney masonry completely rebuilt for just $99”
  • “Brand new stainless-steel chimney liners fully installed – only $129”

Also watch for exorbitantly high prices; in this case, the scammer assumes you’re totally unclear about going rates for chimney service.

  1. Lack of insurance

Most chimney service scammers don’t carry proper insurance. They also don’t hold licenses to do business in the cities in which they promote themselves.

  1. Unable to explain the work

When talking to a chimney scammer, you may find yourself quite confused by what he or she is saying. You may be experiencing “double-talk” or “diversion tactics,” all designed to hide the representative’s lack of knowledge.

  1. They discourage second opinions

Less-than-reputable chimney companies don’t want you getting a second opinion for the work they’ve quoted you on. They also don’t want you to compare estimates.

  1. They want it all up front

If you’re asked by a person wanting to work on your chimney to pay the entire cost of the project up front, you’re probably dealing with an unqualified scammer.

  1. Short time in business

Most unscrupulous chimney companies haven’t been in business very long. You likely won’t find any with a verifiable history of 10 or 20 years. 

  1. Questionable vehicles and no uniforms

Chimney service scammers rarely drive around in brightly painted vehicles with their company name and phone number on the side. They also won’t be dressed in official company uniforms that bear the company logo.

Checklist for recognizing a scam

If you have any doubts about a chimney company you’re thinking of hiring, follow this list to keep from getting ripped off:

  • Ask the company representative for proof of insurance and licensing.
  • Ask about training and certifications.
  • See how they feel about your getting a second opinion.
  • Ask for contact info of at least three local people for whom the company has worked.
  • Confirm that all work will be done under a dual-signed contract.
  • Confirm where the company is located, i.e., where they park their vehicles at night.

Schedule your chimney inspection in Fairfield County CTFinding the right chimney services company

Using these guidelines, you’ll have a much better chance of getting chimney work done by a professional company that will charge you a fair price and will still be around later if you need to follow up.

For more than 20 years, National Chimney Cleaners has been one of those companies. Speak with a credentialed chimney professional today at (800) 631-6177 or reach out with our handy contact form.



Use an Experienced, Established Chimney Sweep Company!

Don’t take chances with uninsured, novice, roofers, unregistered business, no workman’s comp.
Our pros have to know what they’re doing when they put their heads up a chimney and to do that, chimney sweeps obtain specialized training and have years of experience in the field.