Fireplaces are great home additions, especially in during the harsh winter months. Unfortunately, they require maintenance from your part, meaning regular cleaning. The only problem is that if you have never had a fireplace before in your life, you definitely do not know how to clean one. This particular lack of knowledge is why so many people, including you, can fall victim to chimney cleaning scams. Unlike companies that handle chimney repair Ottawa, independent contractors rush clients into making repairs in the attempt of obtaining their money. Read this article and learn how these artists work to avoid falling victim yourself.

How the scam works

Basically, it all starts with a phone call or an email. The scammer will offer you a special discount for cleaning your chimney or even offer to perform this task free of charge. In order to gain your confidence, the independent contractor may say that he has worked with the previous owners as well. The reason why new homeowners are mainly targeted is that they have no idea at all about the working of the fireplace. It is obvious that following the inspection, the scammer will tell you that the chimney has structural damage and that it needs to be repaired. To make his claim stronger, the contractor will insist on the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and that you are lucky to have caught the problem in time.

If it sounds too good to be true, then it is not

When you are presented a deal that is too good to be true, then it probably is not. What you should do if you are approached by such a person is to see if he is certified. You can do this by looking online for reviews and of course references. More importantly, do not give into the pressure. Agreeing on the same day to something is never a good idea. What is a good idea is to educate yourself about the various products out there and about common fireplace repairs. Last but not least, always get a second opinion.

Reliable masonry companies do exist

Instead of dealing with someone that you have just met, you should hire a masonry company. Fortunately, reliable companies do exists and you can ask your neighbors for recommendations. But how do you know if a company is reliable? Besides the fact that a masonry company is positively reviewed by its clients, it will be able to provide you pictures about projects accomplished. This way you will know if the company has any kind of expertise. Even if the prices offered are low, the services should always be of good quality.