When it comes time for chimney maintenance, choosing the right company can be one of the hardest things to do. Some homeowners ask friends or neighbors for recommendations. Others do an internet search or flip through the Yellow Pages. Others still will go with companies that cold call potential clients or leave fliers at their home.
Unfortunately, not all chimney sweeps are created equally. When searching for a chimney sweep company to use, homeowners should look for those who have Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, certifications. Using a certified chimney sweep is one way to guarantee that the person you’ll be working with is a highly trained and qualified professional, not just some guy with a truck.
How do chimney sweeps get certified?
There are few regulations in the chimney sweep and fireplace industry; because of that, anyone can go to a big box store, buy a chimney brush, and call themselves a chimney sweep. Oftentimes, these sweeps do little more than push soot and ash out of your chimney and back into your living room.
Certified chimney sweeps, however, have had to undergo a rigorous education and testing process in order to earn their certifications. The CSIA certification is widely considered the industry’s gold standard in terms of education, professionalism, and skill.
To maintain their certifications, chimney sweeps must retest every three years on information such as:
- Current fireplace and chimney safety practices
- Wide range of knowledge of fireplace and chimney building dynamics
- Local building and fire codes
- Maintenance and installation of heating appliances such as inserts and stoves
- EPA standards for fireplaces, stoves, and other heating appliances
What does a certified chimney sweep do?
Because of their training, certified chimney sweeps can do so much more than just get the soot out of your chimney. At Mason’s Chimney Service our certified sweeps thoroughly clean your chimney and flue using special brushes along with a three-motor, tri-stage HEPA vacuum. This process guarantees that we are able to remove ash, creosote, debris, and deposits from the flue. In addition, our sweeps perform a 100-plus-point safety inspection to ensure that there are no safety hazards lurking in your fireplace or chimney.
Despite our thorough chimney sweep process, we do our best to ensure that no mess is left behind. By using HEPA filters on our equipment along with rug runners, tarps, and even shoe coverings to protect your floors, we make sure your home is just as clean when we leave as when we arrived.
Choosing a certified chimney sweep
Before hiring a chimney sweep company, there are a few questions you should make sure to ask:
- How long have you been in business in this area?
- Do you have references available from current customers?
- Does your company or your chimney sweeps carry liability insurance?
- What is your company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- Will the chimney sweep who works on my chimney be CSIA certified?
Don’t just trust your fireplace and chimney maintenance to anyone with a truck and a couple of brushes. Hire a certified chimney sweep to ensure that your fireplace system is thoroughly and correctly cleaned and cared for. Contact Mason’s Chimney Service today to see the difference being certified and having over 55 years of experience can make!