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Safeguarding Against Scams in the Chimney Industry

Don’t get burned by shysters who exploit the unregulated chimney trade. Safeguarding against scams in the chimney industry is called for, but it isn’t difficult to achieve. When you understand the tactics of those who take advantage of this unregulated industry, the answers can come easily. For those in Richmond VA and the surrounding area, call the trusted CSIA-certified chimney experts at Chimney Saver Solutions. Read on for all you need to know to outsmart chimney industry scammers.

chimney inspections in Mechanicsville VAPolice Issue a Scam Alert!

The headlines about scams in the chimney industry usually pop up in the summer months, which is the best time to tend to chimney maintenance. Don’t let the good timing fool you. One scammer who ripped people off in New Jersey knocked on doors and said: “Your chimney needs inspecting. Want me to look?” From there, unsuspecting homeowners were deceived into spending excessively on bogus chimney repairs and services.

Police found out about the NJ chimney fraud. In August 2023, they reported an increase in what they called “home improvement scams.” Chimney services were among them. Police advised homeowners to always ask for references or some other type of identifying credentials before hiring a contractor. 

Behaviors of Scammers

When an unsolicited person knocks on your door and tells you your home needs repair, they will usually offer to inspect your roof or chimney free of charge or at a deeply discounted price. If this happens, according to police issuing a shakedown alert, the person is trying to scam you. After the “inspection” is completed, homeowners are informed that substantial damage needs immediate repair. High-pressure sales tactics to pay for services immediately are a red flag. 

What’s needed is to verify that the individual is legitimate. It’s particularly needed in the chimney industry because the government doesn’t regulate the profession, or the services chimney sweeps provide. 

How to Avoid Being Scammed

It may only take a few minutes for you to discover whether a chimney company should have your trust. However, be sure to take all the time needed. The following steps are recommended:

  • Go online and research the chimney company. Look for signs that the website has existed for at least a few years. Examine the web pages for poor grammar and typos. A lack of attention to detail strongly suggests they aren’t a legitimate, practicing business.
  • When checking reviews, don’t read just a few. Many times, fake reviews are posted to bury negative comments about a company.
  • Look up the company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Check to see if the company and its chimney sweeps hold a certification and contact the association to verify the credentials.
  • Follow up on references that were provided, and don’t hire a company that has none.
  • Ask the contractor to help you understand what a fair price would be. Get him or her to validate the claim that repairs are required. 
  • Before making any service arrangements, ask for a written contract outlining the cost, services to be performed, and any warranties or guarantees.
  • Check out the location of the company. If they can only provide a P.O. box, that’s a red flag. 
  • Don’t fall for deals that seem too good to be true. 

Contact the Chimney Experts for Legit Chimney Services

After you’ve done your homework to safeguard yourself against scams in the chimney industry, schedule services with Chimney Saver Solutions. Our chimney technicians are all certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). That means they are trained and abide by certain professional standards that will protect your interests. 

We are trusted throughout our service area for our reliability. The comprehensive services we offer include chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, masonry repair, tuckpointing, chimney cap installation, and chimney liner replacement. We also fix leaky chimneys, deteriorating chimney crowns, faulty flashing, and much more.

Contact us today! Enjoy the confidence of knowing that professionals are helping to keep your home safe by keeping your chimney in good repair. Call 804-440-5000 or fill out our online form

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