Putting to one side urgency and availability (which with forward planning shouldn’t be an issue for most) what exactly should a customer be looking for when choosing a Chimney Sweep?
A google search will reveal that there are a number of chimney sweeps operating in any given area in the UK, the use of open fires, and more recently wood burning stoves, are part of our history and where there is a fire there is a requirement for a sweep. Faced with choice what should you do to get the best for you?
For a very few the saving of 5 or 10 pounds is important but this really is a case of you get what you pay for. Look at the top 3 rated chimney sweeps in Bristol here They all charge about the same amount for a sweep. If competition centered on price was key you would find variation. If you ring round to get the cheapest you may well end up with the worst available.
This is key and is linked to cost. Liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance, vetting, up to date equipment, top of the range camera equipment and the experience to use it effectively to assess safety costs the chimney sweep a considerable sum each year but all are necessary to protect the customer. Do you think the cheapest sweeps invest in these business critical options? Of course not. Membership of a trade association is no longer a guarantee of quality either I’m afraid. A plethora of reduced cost training means there are good and bad sweeps across the board. Chimney sweeping today is less about soot removal and more about assessing and informing a customer about safety, any fool can push a brush up a chimney, and there are a few about.
Many professional sweeps despair at the industry where people race for the bottom and try to provide a service cheaper than anyone else. The customer expects and deserves a quality service, not a part time chancer who you wouldn’t ordinarily invite into your home, wise up and employ a Sweep Safe individual.