Chimney sweeps in Phoenix? We’re not blowing smoke
Despite the hot, dry climate, the Derendal family found their niche in Phoenix cleaning chimneys. “We’re in the desert, but we have a lot of fireplaces,” says owner Rebecca Derendal. “People question that when they find out what we do for a living.” Giving families peace of mind that they can safely use their fireplaces drew in the Derendals, she says. “Later, we added dryer vent cleaning because people were requesting it,” she says.
Derendal and her adult children, Justin and Stephanie, keep her late husband’s legacy alive running the business Robert started in 1985, she says. “He created a dynasty,” she says, adding that she took over when he died three years ago, and he’s an angel on her shoulder.
Today, Justin fills his father’s shoes working in customers’ homes along with two other employees, and Stephanie, who works full time as a real estate agent, helps her mother in the office. “I love being in business for myself,” Derendal says. “I’ve answered every single phone call that goes through the business. I like to talk to the customers.”
2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award winner:
Arizona Chimney Sweep
Founded in 1985 by the late Robert Derendal, now run by his wife Rebecca, Arizona Chimney Sweep earned the Super Service Award in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Angie’s List Magazine also recognized the company as a 2012 Best contractor.
Even though she’s never lit a fire in her hearth, member Sidney Williams of Mesa hired Arizona Chimney Sweeps to clean her fireplace and dryer vents. “It’s an opening to the outside, and we thought we better be safe than sorry,” she says. A strange odor wafting through her house prompted the call to make sure an animal hadn’t died in the chimney. “It was just a weird smell that was coming in from outside,” she says. “We went ahead and cleaned the chimney, and we had scheduled both services. It was a happy coincidence they did those two services.”
The A-rated company discovered a bird’s nest in the dryer vent, and at no extra charge removed it and installed a screen to prevent future inhabitants. “I’ve recommended them to friends in the neighborhood,” Williams says, who noted her neighbors use their fireplaces as soon as temperatures dip below 50 degrees and throughout the winter months when the average low is in the 40s.
Service also includes fire safety inspection and education, Derendal says, adding that the company belongs to the National Fire Protection Association to keep up on codes as well as the National Chimney Sweep Guild to maintain the latest technology. Customers appreciate the set price, Derendal says, adding she charges $150 for regular customers or $99 for Angie’s List members. She also gives away cleanings for charity.
Outside of work, Justin tinkers with and races cars and writes articles for a national car magazine. Stephanie has a background as a dancer, and part time Rebecca runs the front office of the studio where her daughter grew up dancing. “I enjoy being with the kids,” she says. “It keeps me young.”
The Super Service Award recognizes contractors and health care providers that have maintained a stellar service rating on Angie’s List throughout the past year. Be sure to always check the List before hiring, however, as ratings can and do change.