Property Manager Frequently Asked Questions
A to Z Chimney Services knows that at any given time as a professional property manager, you’re busy juggling many balls in the air! You are constantly walking a tightrope representing the owner’s interest, as well as meeting the tenant’s needs. It’s for this reason that your team of vendors must be honest, dependable, and affordable! Nothing makes a property manager look worse than having incompetent or undependable workers doing your bidding!
A to Z Chimney Services is an associate member of the Sacramento chapter of NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Mangers) and frequently does business with many property managers. We understand your needs!
Some of the “dirty” little jobs a property manager is often tasked with includes making arrangements for a chimney sweeping or dryer vent cleaning, a gas fireplace to be serviced or repaired, or to have broken or ripped window or door screens replaced. Working with dependable vendors like A to Z Chimney Services will make your life easier while making you look good in your client’s eyes! We answer our phones with a live office staff Monday through Friday, call the day before to confirm the appointment, and show up on time within a reasonable two-hour window of arrival. By request, we’re happy to call on you or your tenants 15-30 minutes prior to arriving so nobody has to sit around and wait at the property.
- Why have the chimney or dryer vent cleaned and inspected?
- What does a chimney or fireplace inspection cover?
- Can I schedule an “inspection only”?
- Can I schedule a “cleaning only” without having an inspection performed?
- Do I need to be present during the appointment?
- Why does electricity need to be turned on at the property?
Why have the chimney or dryer vent cleaned and inspected?
Just like a roof or pool inspection, a chimney represents an expensive and very critical part of the home: And because improperly maintained chimneys or dryer vents can lead to loss of life and property, a professional chimney sweeping or dryer vent cleaning and inspection is a wise course of action!
Your homeowner clients look to you as their property-managing expert and will often take your advice earnestly.
While it is an additional expense, having these areas of the home maintained by A to Z Chimney Services is cheap fire insurance when it comes to protecting your clients’ interests, as well as your valuable reputation! You would want the same level of safety for your family, so treat your clients like family and encourage them to have the fireplace and dryer vent maintenance done by A to Z Chimney Services!
What does a chimney or fireplace inspection cover?
There are two types of chimney inspections: Level 1 inspections and Level 2 inspections. Level 1 inspections are a basic visual inspection that is included with every chimney sweeping that A to Z Chimney Services’ technicians perform, and includes a hand-written condition report . A level one inspection is appropriate if no changes are planned for the chimney (such as installing a wood stove or gas fireplace). If changes have occurred (such as a chimney fire, earthquake, lightning strike) or are going to occur (such as installing a wood, pellet, or gas stove), or if ownership is changing hands, the Chimney Safety Institute of America always recommends that a Level 2 inspection be performed.
A level 2 inspection is more detailed in scope, covering every inch of the chimney system including parts of the chimney found within the attic and beneath the home (if the home has an accessible raised sub floor). Level 2 inspections also include a 4-8 page typewritten report with pictures and captions of any areas of interest found during the inspection. This typewritten report is very similar to what most home inspectors provide after their inspection, and is an ironclad guarantee that all parties involved will know the chimney’s exact condition.
Can I schedule an “inspection only?”
Absolutely! But a word of warning… it may end up costing you or the client more if you do this!! In the event an “inspection only” appointment is scheduled and our technician arrives to find the chimney’s flue is dirty, our inspection report will reflect the fact that the flue could not be inspected, and therefore the condition of the flue could not be determined.
In other words, if the inside surfaces of the chimney’s flue are coated with creosote, the chimney will need to be swept and the creosote removed before an inspection of the flue can be performed. If our technician was only authorized to perform an inspection, he will likely have to return for a second trip to perform the necessary cleaning, which will be an added expense.
For this reason, we always recommend you schedule a cleaning and inspection. If the flue is not dirty, we will only charge you for the inspection. If the flue is dirty, we are then authorized to sweep and inspect on the same day, thus saving you, your client, and your tenant time and money!
Can I schedule a “cleaning only” without having an inspection performed?
No. As members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, our professional code of ethics requires us to fully disclose our inspection findings to all parties: The property managers, the owners, and the tenants. This full disclosure policy ensures that if there are any potential safety hazards or concerns, use of the chimney can be discontinued until repairs are completed, thus avoiding any accidental catastrophes, and keeping all parties out of harm’s way.
When property managers specifically request a “cleaning only”, we often have to assume it is already known that something is wrong with the chimney and/or the property manager is afraid that a chimney condition report indicating repairs are needed will cause problems with the owners or tenants.
Rest assured, while A to Z Chimney Services’ condition reports are thorough, our technicians are trained to present the facts tactfully so as not to upset the parties involved. Scaremongering or doomsday techniques are not tolerated, and you and your clients will be treated with kindness and respect with a positive and upbeat attitude.
Do I need to be present during the appointment?
No, but it is preferable that you or your tenants are present during the inspection. We realize you’re busy juggling the endless details involved with managing properties! As such, if nobody can be present for the appointment, our chimney sweep technicians can still do their job as long as they have access to get inside the home (via current occupants or a lock box), and electricity is available within the home during the inspection. Any areas of concern or needed repairs will be photographed, and the condition report can be faxed or emailed to you.
If any involved parties were not able to be there during the original inspection, we would be happy to email them pictures, or make a second trip for an additional charge.
Why does electricity need to be turned on at the property for a chimney cleaning and inspection appointment?
Our dust control vacuums and ChimScan inspection cameras require electricity, so please make sure the electricity is turned on in the home. If electricity is not available, while booking the appointment, you may request that we bring a portable generator. We are happy to provide this service for an additional charge.
Realtors have a lot of details to juggle when arranging the sale of a home, so we’ve put together some information to help. Providing this additional service is all part of our commitment to excellent performance.
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Dear A to Z,
I just wanted to thank you for your honesty and for a thorough inspection of my chimney. One of the biggest concerns I have when hiring service professionals is being taken advantage when not having first hand knowledge of the various procedures. Last year when I had my chimney swept by one of your competitors, they claimed that I had a chimney fire, and that my flue was now cracked and needed extensive repairs.
This year, I hired A to Z to come out and sweep and inspect the flue because I heard they inspect the chimneys with a Chim Scan camera at no additional charge. The technician who came to my home, assured me I would be able to see any cracks or hazardous conditions along with him as he video scanned my flue. To my utter delight, NO EVIDENCE OF A CHIMNEY FIRE OR DAMAGE IN MY FLUE WAS DETECTED!!! Chris was extremely detailed in his inspection and really took his time educating me so I could feel comfortable. It was obvious that he knew what he was talking about and truly interested in doing the right thing…a far cry from last year’s experience with the other company. If anyone asks for an HONEST, COMPETENT, AND PROFESSIONAL chimney sweep company, I'll be sure to recommend A to Z!
~ Ms. Randi Scott, Lincoln, CA
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