Crazy Chimney Sweep Tactics We’ve Really Seen

chimney sweep tactics

It’s always interesting to see the different tactics that chimney sweeps use in order to try and get business. Over the last four decades in service, our experienced chimney cleaners at The Irish Sweep have seen it all – from the absurd to the downright dangerous. In this blog post, we’ll outline the crazy chimney sweep tactics we’ve really seen, plus the things that can go wrong in a home when you don’t work with an experienced chimney cleaners.

Unorthodox Chimney Inspections

When we perform a professional chimney inspection, we do a photographic, documented camera inspection for our clients’ security and records. As experts, we know that the condition of the inside of a chimney can often be very different than what the naked eye can see from the outside – and it has serious implications for the safety of a home. After all:

  • Chimneys with blockages can contribute to poor indoor air quality or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Creosote buildup can increase the risk of chimney fires and house fires.
  • Structural damage within a chimney can put it at risk of collapsing at any time, particularly in the event of an earthquake.

Many times on the job, however, we’ve encountered chimney cleaners using a very different approach.

“I’ll Just Use My Phone”

A standard iPhone camera cannot capture the same level of detail as a professional-grade inspection camera, but that didn’t stop this chimney sweep. Rather than using a high-image-quality camera to inspect the chimney’s interior, we observed this chimney sweep dangling an iPhone down the chimney to get a look.

Needless to say, this was a major red flag for us. We knew that this chimney sweep would not be able to provide our clients with the level of detail and documentation that we could – and of course, we were concerned about the safety of their phone!

“X-Ray Vision”

Once, a member of our team heard a customer say the other “inspector” was able to see everything they needed regarding the chimney with their eyes. Needless to say, this is not a safe or reliable practice for inspecting a chimney!

While it might be tempting to try and save a few bucks by working with a less-than-professional chimney sweep, it’s simply not worth the risk. 

“I Can’t See it, But it Looks Great”

We have also heard from clients that a company performed a chimney inspection prior to cleaning the chimney. Of course, if a chimney is dirty, there will not be much to inspect – the clay flue liners and their related mortar joints will likely be covered in creosote and fly ash.

We always clean a chimney before inspecting it. This is the only way to get an accurate sense of what – if any – repair work may be needed.

“Under The Table”

Unfortunately, there are some unlicensed and inexperienced individuals who will try to do side work “under the table.” This is not only dangerous, but it’s also illegal.

In California, if someone isn’t licensed, then they can’t perform any repairs needed to make a chimney safe to operate. They must also be a licensed contractor to perform work over the amount of $600.00 for time and material.

Choose Chimney Cleaners that Care

At The Irish Sweep, we always adhere to the highest safety standards. We are licensed and insured chimney cleaners professionals who have been serving the area since 1982. If you’re in need of a chimney sweep, dryer vent cleaning, or other home services, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ll be happy to provide you with a free estimate.