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Chimney Sweeping reviews in Ridgefield

  • F
    In a nutshell, I have serious reservations about Safeside's competency in their chosen field, their professionalism when it comes to conducting business as well as their customer friendliness. I will not engage them again. Outlined below is the story on how I came to this assessment.
    Our house has an oil-fired furnace that is located about 6 feet away from the chimney. Consequently we have a horizontal flue that connects the furnace to the chimney. In 2012 during a quick inspection, a chimney sweep pointed out that there was a constriction in the horizontal part that should be removed. He also determined that the chimney liner was old and needed to be replaced. I engaged Safeside to perform this work at a cost of $2800.
    About a year later later the engineer performing regular maintenance on the furnace noticed that it had very poor draft (about 400 ft/min as later measured by me). The engineer also pointed out that the records attached to the furnace indicate that the draft was never very good to begin with. He suggested that the chimney liner was too small but indicated that only a chimney sweep can say for sure.
    I consulted with Safeside as well as another chimney sweep company. I disclosed to both of them that the furnace never had good draft in the recent past. Representatives from the other chimney sweep company also said that the new liner (5.5in diameter, round) was probably too small.
    However, Safeside disputed that the liner size was the most likely cause of the problem. Apparently there are no hard-and-fast rules on the design of flues and chimneys, so it is not straightforward to pinpoint the source of poor draft. Given that there was evidence of problems even before any changes, I was willing to entertain their more experienced advice and work with them while trying to solve the issue.
    After some back and forth Safeside suggested that a flue extension could be installed on top of the chimney to improve the draft. This is a simple metal addition that is put on top of the chimney. The extension was installed in December of 2013. All they did was to put up the extension but nobody from their side tried to measure the effect(*). There was also no follow-up from them to find out what my experience was.
    Over the course of the winter and spring of 2015 I lost track of this particular issue as we pursued a larger construction project. However, when the engineer came back last November to perform the annual furnace cleaning, he determined that the draft had gotten worse - if anything. Given this situation there I determined that there was a risk of the furnace emitting significant amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) into the house and closed off the area around it.
    I called Safeside again and explained the situation to them, including that I perceived a risk of CO emissions into the house. I started to contemplate the construction of a separate chimney. This would would be essentially a metal pipe which would lead from the furnace to the outside in the straightest possible manner and then go up. The expected cost of that project was around $3000. At the time this seemed to be the only approach that had a reasonable chance of success. It avoided the most likely cause of the poor draft - the long horizontal flue.
    I discussed this with the representative of Safeside. From my perspective our conversations were never adversarial. Nevertheless, they continued to deny that the liner size was a potential source of the problem.
    As a first step I asked them to remove the flue extension at the top of the chimney. They did so within a week. After that I called them again to request a definite estimate for the installation of the new chimney. This was at the beginning of December of 2015.
    To this day I am waiting for a return call. I had been quite clear to them that I considered the problem to be urgent due to the risk of CO being emitted into the house.
    After two weeks with no movement I engaged a different company. They replaced the 5.5in liner with a 7in one. This solved the problem - decisively.  By my measurements the draft went from around 400 ft/min to about 1000 ft/min. As far as I can tell this is pretty good.
    In summary, the liner that Safeside installed did turn out to be the problem but Safeside never considered changing it. Of course, doing so would have meant that they change it under warranty, i.e. at a loss to them (such liners cost at least $800). While dealing with them I did not pursue this point vigorously as there is no way of making a convincing argument. In the end I had to pay for two liner installations, each costing over $2000.
    However, I did ask Safeside for help to solve the risk of CO emissions into the house by installing a metal chimney. I was offering them a good business opportunity and also indicated that I considered this a safety issue and wanted it to be solved fast. As indicated earlier, they never called me back on this.

    * None of the chimney sweep company I dealt with so far ever tried to measure the draft in the same manner as the engineer did. It seems to me that that is not industry practice. From a customer's perspective it is certainly disappointing.
    - Klaas T.
  • A
    This was a deal purchased through Amazon.  They came and cleaned our
    chimney and gave us an estimate for waterproofing the bricks from the
    outside, as we were having a moisture problem in the chimney.  They were
    very professional and told us only one chimney (we have two) needed
    cleaning; the other could wait till next year.  We anticipate having the
    waterproofing work done within the month.
    - Jane O.
  • F

    Basically, the took out a chimney liner, which was an upcharge, but in doing so they put soot through my entire basement and laundry area.  I ended up having to get my carpet cleaned and spent 16 hours cleaning.  I informed them that it would have been nice if they would have informed me that I needed to cover my belongings or they should bring tarps to do this.  They were here for 45 minutes and the work ended up costing me $500.

    - Caroline A.
  • F
    Safeside was supposed to clean our chimney today between 8-11 a.m. When I called at 11 to learn where the technician was, I I was informed that they were not coming today and had to cancel the appointment. I asked why they hadn't called to cancel and learned that they hadn't gotten to us yet. 
    - Jeffrey L.
  • A
    Rich (one of the owners) came to supervise his chimney sweep guy. He was very friendly and professional. Apparently my chimney was quite dirty (I make a lot of fires) so they gave me guidelines to make sure I get it cleaned more often to stay safe from chimney fires.
    They were efficient and cleaned up completely. I am very happy with the service and I would use them again. Thanks!
    (Rich also loved my Weimaraners which is always a plus)!
    - Gwenann R.
  • F
    I called Loyalty and left a message that I'd like my chimney swept as soon as possible. I received a call back 24 hours later from Curtis who said he'd be happy to come out on Friday between 1:00 and 1:30. Price would be $130. However, Curtis never showed up --- didn't even bother to call to cancel or say he would be late. So, I called another company -- I'll let you know how that goes. Hopefully people will read this and recognize that this company isn't about customer service.
    - Jeff K.
  • A
    Rich was very responsive and available to answer any questions.  He also followed up after the work was finished to be sure that we were pleased with the work and the results - which we were.  Tad and his crew were excellent in rebuilding the twenty year old brick porch and walkway.  They were punctual, very skilled and put in very full days.  Tad was also careful to try to match the brick as he repaired the steps even though the original brick was very old and no longer available.  We are very pleased with the masonry work that was performed.  Also, our woodstove needed cleaning and the chimney cleaner was neat, efficient and very friendly.  I would not hesitate to use Rich and John's again and would happily recommend them.
    - Nora S.
  • C
    Service provider promptly came out to inspect and quote work on chimney we need repaired. They provided onsite quote. I then had 3 other similar quality contractors quote the same work an each of the competing bids was lower than the provider's.
    - Nick R.
  • A
    We have had August West come to clean our hard working stove every year for a decade. It is our main source of heat so we baby our stove, and we find that AW takes superb care of it for us. He is the only one we would use.
    - Angela K.
  • A
    I would highly recommend August West Chimney Sweeps. James disconnected the chimney from the stove and pulled it out of the ceiling so he could clean all parts. He used a vacuum to keep the area clean as he cleaned out the chimney. He did a thorough job. He also inspected the basement chimney at no charge and told me it could go another couple of years before needing to be swept based upond low use. Very honest as he could have made more money if he said it needed to be swept. He also took a look at the exhaust for the oil heating system and made a suggestion for getting a part replaced. Overall I was quite satisfied and felt he did a thorough job and I would recommend August West and will use them again.
    - Rick B.
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Chimney Sweeps in Ridgefield

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