How to Avoid Chimney Repair Scams: Helpful Tips to Follow
Chimney problems aren’t always obvious. Additionally, not all homeowners are completely knowledgeable about their chimneys. These reasons led to the growing popularity of chimney cleaning and repair scams.
Scammers operate by telling homeowners they are in imminent danger of a carbon monoxide leak or other problems that require an immediate solution. This causes feelings of panic and fear to homeowners, leading them to pay a handsome amount in exchange for supposedly fast and effective service. Thankfully, preventing falling victim to a scam like this is possible by being knowledgeable. Here are ways to avoid being ripped off by chimney repair scammers:
- Do Online Research
Before deciding to work with any chimney specialist, look them up online. Take the time to look at their online profiles and read client testimonials to have an idea of the quality of their work.
Pay attention to reviews. It can be a major red flag if a company has no reviews, despite being in the industry for a long time. It’s also best to stay away from a company with multiple negative reviews.
Go instead for a professional with a well-established online profile and a high number of positive reviews. They should also be bonded and insured to ensure you are protected against different potential problems. If possible, ask for proof of insurance before working with a company.
- Get a Second Quote
Don’t settle for the first company that offers the lowest quote. Shop around, get second (or multiple) quotes before working with them, and compare those quotes with one another.
Beware of unreasonable quotes. Too high and too-good-to-be-true prices both signify that something’s wrong. For this reason, check the average going rate for a chimney rebuild, chimney removal, and other basic services to ensure to get the best deal possible.
- Ask For Proof of Damage
Chimneys are difficult to access, and many homeowners have no definite way to see if there is actually something wrong with them. This is why they usually rely on chimney specialists to determine if they need repairs. However, not every chimney professional is trustworthy. Some of them are scammers.
To prevent making unnecessary payments, ask for proof of damage before agreeing to extensive chimney repairs. Request for a photo of the area that needs repairs or try to see the damage yourself. This type of repair can be pricey, which is why homeowners have to make sure they are getting their money’s worth.
- Take Your Time
While faulty chimneys are best repaired immediately, never hire a chimney specialist in a hurry. Additionally, don’t let any company pressure you into agreeing to their services right away. As much as possible, take the time to do thorough online research and get multiple quotes from different companies. Doing this increases the chances of choosing the right contractor.
Scam artists are getting more creative and clever than ever. For instance, they will use pictures of someone else’s chimney or make problems up to make homeowners pay for services they don’t even need. Avoid becoming a victim of these common chimney repair scams by following these tips.
If you need chimney repair services, then you’ve come to the right place. We are Red Robin Masonry, and you can count on us to keep your chimney up and running in no time. Contact us to request a quote!