Warning about chimney repair scams - AmericaNowNews.com

Chimney repair scams

You've heard the warnings about getting your chimneys inspected to make sure everything is working properly, but this is a different kind of warning.

Going year after year with consistent burning creates a big risk in chimney fires. But as you think about safety, you should also be concerned with your money.

Dan Fitzpatrick of Cougots Chimney says crooks usually pop-up during the winter months, targeting homeowners looking for a good deal.

"They show up in the middle of winter a lot of times they are from out of the area they may have a number that calls somewhere out of state," Fitzpatrick said.

Like with any service, you have to do your homework. Get several estimates, and never feel pressured to sign anything.

Fitzpatrick says ask yourself some questions. "Are they a local company? Do they have an office? Can you find them registered?"

Experts say a big red flag is when a chimney contractor rushes you into buying and installing a chimney liner.

Among many things, it's used to prevent heat and sparks from reaching combustible material in your home, that can cause a fire.

"That doesn't mean your chimney doesn't need one, but they are going to push for it right away whether you need it or not because it is the highest ticket item in our business," says Fitzpatrick.

Remember - don't just take the contractors word for it, if they tell you something is wrong with the inside of your chimney, they should be able to show you proof by using either a video camera or a digital camera.

Fitzpatrick said, "Sign here, you need this work, lets go right away, your house is going to burn down - that sort of mentality should all be red flags for the consumer."

Also keep in mind, if a fraudulent contractor gets access to your home, you run the risk of not only losing money, but work being done improperly, putting you and your family's safety at risk. 

The experts say also watch for crooks offering sky-high prices or prices that are too low.

The Better Business Bureau says an average chimney sweep will cost you about $150 to $200.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • News on the Road starts in Tifton

    News on the Road starts in Tifton

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:01 PM EDT2014-04-18 16:01:36 GMT
    WALB News 10 is hitting the road for our 60th anniversary. You might remember this photo from 2004. Yolanda, Dawn, and Ben having fun with the Ladies of the Red Hat Society in Tifton for WALB's 50th
    WALB News 10 is on the road for our 60th anniversary. We hope you'll come out to see Yolanda, Ben and Tara Herrschaft and don't forget to take your smart phones.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Good for you no bake cookies

    Good for you no bake cookies

    Love the taste of cookies but hate the calories wellness expert Peggy Hall has the magic recipe.
    Love the taste of cookies but hate the calories wellness expert Peggy Hall has the magic recipe.
Powered by WorldNow