A fireplace that is cared for and maintained can be the heart of the home. It can be the spot around which loved ones gather, celebrate, and create special memories. Few things are cosier than the look and smell of a wood-burning fireplace, but if some TLC is not put into that fireplace, it can be a danger and cease to function properly. A professional chimney sweep is an essential part of caring for your fireplace, and knowing some tips for hiring a chimney sweep beforehand can ensure you end up with the job you need being done to the safe standard you deserve.
Check Licenses and Certifications
Unlike most industries, the chimney sweep industry is completely unregulated, meaning anyone can start up their own sweep business. There are no safety standards, training, or certain tool supplies that need to be met, and that means that you are more at risk of being scammed or not having a good service provided in the chimney sweep industry than in others.
There are, however, nationally recognized certifications and licenses that can be requested and checked to help separate the qualified sweepers from the amateurs. It is your job to check these beforehand to ensure you are hiring a certified professional.
One of the certifications worth knowing about checking beforehand is the Chimney Sweep Institute of America (CSIA). CSIA certification is the nation-wide standard for training chimney sweepers. While some owners of sweep companies are CSIA certified, not necessarily all of their technicians will be. When you are speaking to an owner, make sure to request that your technician is CSIA certified and that they bring their credentials with them so you can confirm before they begin work on your chimney. CSIA training covers the repair, maintenance, of chimneys, appliances, fireplaces, and their ventilation systems. A technician who is CSIA certified knows what they are doing. They will have experience dealing with a wide range of chimney and fireplace issues and will be equipped to handle them accordingly and safely.
Confirm Liability Insurance Coverage
It is always a good idea to verify that any company you are considering hiring is fully insured with liability coverage. This will protect you and your home should something go wrong while a sweeper is on your property or caring for your chimney. If the company you have hired does not have this insurance, if damage occurs on your chimney or fireplace, you are solely responsible for paying for it to be repaired.
One of the best ways to confirm the quality of workmanship you will get from a sweeper is to check their references and customer reviews. These days, it is easier than ever before to check the experiences of others. Online reviews and customer feedback is an excellent source when deciding who to hire for any job, and sweepers are no exception. Also checking a company’s ranking with the Better Business Bureau is a good indication of a company’s reputation and standing within the industry.
The Importance of Hiring a Reputable Chimney Sweeper
When it comes to caring for your chimney and fireplace, it can, in fact, be a factor of life and death. Chimneys that are uncared for can accumulate creosote buildups that can make the air inside the home toxic and unhealthy to breathe. Cracks that need to be repaired can let excess moisture into the home, and chimneys that are simply clogged with buildup or debris can’t properly filter smoke out of the home, and instead causes it to seep inside and dirty up your home and air quality..
Because the industry is unregulated, it is even more important for you to do your own due diligence beforehand to ensure you are getting a professional chimney sweep who is knowledgeable, CSIA certified, experienced, and has all the necessary equipment to perform a number of tasks to repair and maintain your chimney and fireplace. Following these tips for hiring a chimney sweep can help keep your fireplace functioning optimally and keep your home safe.
Fireplaces in a home have a special place and function. As the ‘hearth’ of the home, it can be the centre-point around which the home resides.