Best of 2000: Best Chimney Sweep

4021 Swift Avenue,
North Park
(619) 280-4700

"When we sweep your chimney," says Michael Mullen, vice president of Chimneys-R-Us, "your white carpet stays white, there's no mess, and we're not smudged like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins." Workers inspect, clean, rebuild, and repair all chimneys, fireplaces and wood-burning appliances. "Safety inspections should be done every year -- every other year if it's not used often. Soot is flammable and corrosive, and it's cheap insurance to do preventative maintenance." Basic service starts at around $119 for a two-story chimney and at $109 for a one-story chimney. The cleaning takes from a half hour to 45 minutes. "Some of the guys do dress up and have a top hat in the truck. We usually don't wear them unless the customer asks and a lot of customers do. But it gets kind of hot when you're on a roof in Ramona at noon, and the last thing you want to be doing is dancing around with a top hat."

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