HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is urging homeowners to check their chimney and chimney liner before the cold weather arrives.
DCP says consumers should have their chimney inspected before turning on the heat this winter if there is concern the chimney liner was not connected properly.
Inspections should also be done if the chimney liner was installed by anyone without an appropriate credential. DCP says in this case, you should immediately contact your local building official.
According to DCP, chimney liners that are poorly connected can affect the air quality of the home and may lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if not dealt with properly.
“Work that’s not completed by a licensed professional can cost you hard earned dollars, and even be a risk to your health,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull.
“We encourage families in Connecticut to take the steps they need to ensure they have a safe chimney now, before it’s too late in the season and they’re in need of heat.”
DCP shared steps you should take before hiring someone for chimney cleaning or repairs:
- Verify that anyone doing work on your home has the proper credential by visiting www.elicense.ct.gov.
- Ask for recommendations from trusted friends and family, and hire locally.
- Ensure you have the right building permits. Building permits are required for chimney repair and chimney liner installation.
- Have a signed contract in writing. Home improvement contractors are required to have a contract with you before starting work.
- Ask any questions you have about your contract before signing it. Make sure you understand the contract.
DCP also says not to do business with anyone who:
- Pressures you to pay up front
- Requires that you pay in an untraceable form like cash or wire transfer
- Says they’ll even bring you to your bank to get money to pay them up front
- Won’t show you proof of their credentials
- Won’t give you references
- Refuses to offer you a contract in writing
- Offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true
- Knocks on your door without an appointment
Anyone with complaints about a contractor or information on contractors without appropriate credentials may email DCP at firstname.lastname@example.org.