Professional Chimney Cleaning Is Available in Washington DC & Northern VA
When someone types “professional chimney cleaning services” into a search engine like Google, they might assume every result leads to a chimney company that’s qualified to meet their needs – that’s licensed in the state and county where they live, certified, and highly trained.
But using the word “professional,” doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get a list of well-qualified techs with years of experience – especially here in the Northeast where we see a lot of scammers and fly-by-night chimney sweeps.
So, how can you know the team you’re hiring for your chimney sweeping is reliable and will provide good work?
Real or Scam?
Scammers are, unfortunately, lurking around, ready to jump on unsuspecting homeowners – even in the chimney industry.
We’ve seen Google Map listings full of companies that aren’t even local to Northern VA, Maryland, or Washington, DC. They put up fake listings, acting as local chimney professionals, only to subcontract out the work to a handyman and other contractor that doesn’t even specialize in chimney work or repairs.
We’ve also seen ads on Google and Facebook advertising $69, $79, and $89 sweeps and inspections. People think it’s a great deal, hire them for the job, and then companies like us and other reputable chimney pros have had to go behind them and fix the original problems that weren’t ever properly addressed.
And sometimes the scammers only invite more issues, meaning there’s even more for us to tackle. In these cases, what seemed to be a sweet deal ended up costing the homeowners more in the end.
So we decided to address what a real professional chimney cleaning company is, how to find one, and what you should expect from the company you hire.
What Does a Real Professional Chimney Cleaning Company Look Like?
When deciding which company you should hire, we urge you to take a few big things into consideration – the cost, the level of care they offer, and their focus (or lack thereof) on the communities they serve.
How much does a real professional chimney company COST?
The first thing we want to get out of the way is cost. A reputable chimney company will never charge less than $100 to come out for a service. They have to pay for at least two people to travel in a company vehicle (stocked with the latest technology and equipment) to sweep, inspect, and potentially diagnose your issue. This means covering gas, travel expenses, vehicle wear and tear, and more.
Then, the sweeps will spend 2 – 4 hours doing the job, ensuring that when you start that fire in the middle of your house you can do it with confidence.
Long story short, a real professional chimney company will make sure their employees, trucks, equipment, and you – the customer – are taken care of. And to do that, they will charge accordingly – and you want them to! This is the only way you know you are getting what you deserve as a customer.
How much does a real professional chimney company CARE?
Professional and reputable chimney sweeping companies that are located in your area care about you. They care about your family, your lifestyle, your home, and your comfort. And they care about getting you the information you need before, during, and after your appointment.
In the end, committed experts should go above and beyond to make sure that they come to your home at a time that’s convenient for you – and that means being on time too. And in the case of an emergency, or if something happened beyond their control, a great chimney services company will call and let you know, giving you the option to reschedule.
When the technicians arrive at your home in a clean well-marked truck or van, they care enough about you to introduce themselves, having their name tags and badges on full display so you know who they are. They will respect your home by wearing booties and placing tarps down to cover carpets and furniture. They will place barriers, if possible, at the front of the fireplace, and bring in HEPA-filtered vacuums to keep any soot or debris at bay and out of your home.
As they sweep and inspect the chimney and venting system they will invite you into the process if you want to see what they are doing. They are happy to share the photos and their knowledge of your system, if that’s something you would like to be a part of. They will never ask you to leave an area unless for some reason during a repair or rebuild you would be in danger.
Ultimately, a professional, certified, and experienced chimney technician will be out to make sure that after his job is through that everything will be put back in place, and will aim to leave the place cleaner than it was when he or she arrived. However long that takes, it takes. They want you to be comfortable and confident when lighting the next fire whether just for you or for a gathering of family or friends.
How much does a real professional chimney company VALUE COMMUNITY?
Finding a professional chimney service company that is local to your community is something a lot of people want. Consider looking at reviews online, browsing suggestions on Facebook community groups, talking to your neighbors and family in the area, or simply picking up the phone and calling a few to interview for the job. These are all great ways to find a company that fits with what you need to be done.
By hiring a tech that lives, works, and plays in the same communities you also live, work, and play in, you can rest assured that they truly value what you and others nearby think of them. And we guarantee that they want what’s best for their communities too!
Do you need chimney care soon? Winstons Chimney Service would like to interview for the job. Our phone number is 703-379-5006 and we’d love to speak with you. Or, you can schedule an appointment online, and we’ll call you to arrange the best time for you for us to come out.
We are a professional chimney cleaning service company that has been a part of this community since 1978. Let us wow you.
When I Search for a Chimney Sweep Near Me, What Should I Look For?
So, you know what a real chimney company should look like, but how can you know which companies embody these characteristics as you’re browsing through search results online? Here’s what to look for:
When searching for a chimney sweep near you, seek out technicians that are Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)–certified. This is the gold standard for certifications in the chimney and venting industries throughout the entire United States, and it shows that your tech is committed to not only learning the ins and outs of chimney and venting systems, but staying on top of any updates or industry news as well.
The first thing you want to make sure of before hiring a technician to come to your home is that they have this certification – and if they have any more certifications to add to their resume, even better.
2. Reviews & Quality of Work
The second thing to check for is the quality of work, both currently and over time. When a contracting company can maintain quality in their products and services over time, it speaks volumes. A big indicator of this will be reviews and customer testimonials – and nowadays accessing review sites is easier than ever.
See what others had to say about the company you wish to hire – and go ahead and see how well they handle negative reviews too. In other words, are they professional and look for resolutions?
Finally, check out reviews with pictures attached. Sometimes, homeowners are happy to show off the company’s work, in which case you can literally see for yourself what to expect!
3. Safety Standards
Third, check into their safety standards. It’s paramount that the company you hire to work on your chimney system adheres to the highest standards of safety to protect both you and your family as well as their employees.
Remember – you’re lighting a fire in your living room. There’s no room to cut corners or take shortcuts, so you’ll want to ensure the company you hire takes every necessary precaution and really knows their stuff.
The fourth thing to look for in a great chimney sweep company near your area is whether or not they use the latest technology. Despite the popular imagery we see in movies like Mary Poppins, sweeps no longer use old brushes on the top of your roof while working on your chimney system.
Rather, they use drills and rotary brushes attached to long poles to sweep the area clean. This means, in a lot of cases, they are actually sweeping the chimney from the bottom up – and catching the debris in the firebox, with the help of an industrial HEPA-filtered vacuum.
So while searching for a “chimney sweep near me,” or “chimney repair near me,” don’t just take the first one that shows up. Do your due diligence and check us out. We believe that you get the best when you hire Winston’s Chimney Service. Call 703-379-5006 to set something up.
Can You Replace the Inside of a Chimney? How Much Does That Cost?
We get called in to give second opinions on repairs, replacements, and renovations quite often. However, let’s answer the first question first.
Yes, most of the time, we can replace the inside of a chimney. However, it really does depend on several factors that have to be considered. Things like…
- What type of structure is the chimney?
- Does it have a flue?
- If so, what type of flue?
- Is it terra cotta, aluminum, or stainless steel?
- When you say chimney, do you really mean the fireplace?
- If so, then what type of fireplace is it?
- Wood-burning, gas, or propane?
- Or, is this an insert?
- Does it burn pellets, wood, or gas?
- What about the firebox?
- Is it damaged in any way?
- Is this a masonry fireplace or a manufactured fireplace?
- How large is it?
- Do you want to replace the inside as it was, or do you want something different?
- Gas to wood-burning?
- Wood-burning to gas?
- Maybe a retrofit like a Prior Fire?
See? There are a lot of factors that go into a job like this – and you want to be sure to hire a team you can rely on. All of these things will need to be known and considered before even starting to answer the question in full.
Which brings us to the next question… What will it cost?
The cost of a project like this is directly related to the answers to all of those questions above. There are different materials to restore or replace a flue, different labor considerations, and various types of equipment needed to get the job done.
If the question is more about the fireplace than the chimney, then that brings up different costs. Could the answer be that it’s both the fireplace and the flue that needs to be replaced? Definitely. But then that opens the door to lots of other questions.
Essentially, there are too many questions around this type of question, and all circle back to the importance of hiring a professional, reliable, and trustworthy chimney cleaning company from the very start.
Hire Us for the Care You Deserve
So, what does a professional chimney cleaning company look like? It looks just like Winston’s Chimney Service.
Call us at 703-379-5006 or schedule an appointment online. We’d love the opportunity to become your go-to team of experts for it all.