Chimney sweeps provide an essential service to homeowners as dirty chimneys can become health and safety hazards. While all chimney owners understand the issue of maintenance, some don’t pay as much attention to it as they should. A few might not even be aware that chimney sweeps must be certified before they can handle this task. A few people have been taken in by chimney sweeps that show up without being called offering their services. Quite often, they offer cheap rates to do the job, but this should be a warning sign. In many cases, these individuals are scammers who are only too happy to take your money for little or no work.
What is Chimney Sweep Certification?
Anyone who operates as a chimney sweep must be certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. The certification covers a number of areas related to chimney use and safety, which include:
- The basics of chimney construction
- How creosote builds up and what causes it
- EPA regulations regarding the use of chimneys
This certification ensures that the chimney sweep:
- Understands all the cleaning and safety practices as outlined by the organization
- Knows the importance of being in compliance with local building codes
- Stays informed on the latest developments in the field
- Teaches customers about the importance of chimney maintenance and chimney safety
Based on the CSIA’s guidelines, a high level of professionalism is expected from the chimney sweep when dealing with customers. The customer should always feel like he or she is being treated fairly.
Dealing With a Chimney Sweep
Certification is one of the first issues you should raise when you are looking for a qualified chimney sweep. It is unlikely that someone who shows up at your door looking for chimney cleaning work will be certified. A professional chimney sweep should be able to provide references from satisfied customers. It is a good idea to find out if there are any unresolved complaints filed against the service provider as well.
The CSIA certification is basically a guarantee that as a customer you can expect quality work in the cleaning and maintenance of your chimney. A certified chimney sweep will have all the necessary tools to do an effective job.
Taking a chance with an uncertified sweep is not only bad for your chimney; it could also put your family’s health and safety at risk. With professional certification and almost two decades of chimney sweeping experience, Lou Curley has the technical skill to keep your chimney functioning well. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 when you need your chimney cleaned or inspected, or if you have any chimney or fireplace related issues.