Would you go to an optometrist if you were having relationship problems? “No!” Would you go to a therapist if you were having problems with your eyes? Again…a resounding “NO!” In both situations, the wrong specialist is being used for something that’s not in his or her area of expertise. This same logic also applies to selecting a chimney sweep. You could hire anybody off the street to inspect and sweep your chimney; however would you be getting the highest level of service possible? Once again…”No!” When you hire a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified sweep, however, you can be confident that you’re hiring someone who is thoroughly familiar with what needs to be done to keep your home safe from the threats brought on by a neglected chimney.
Selecting the right person for the job
CSIA-certified sweeps are held to a higher standard in regards to both performance and professional decorum than those who are not certified. These higher standards include:
- Learning about and utilizing the chimney and venting safety practices and techniques recommended by the CSIA.
- Complying with applicable building codes, manufacturer’s installation instructions, and recognized venting and chimney practices.
- Educating consumers about chimney and venting safety procedures.
- Striving to keep skills, knowledge, and technique—with regard to current safety practices for the chimney and venting of the fireplace—updated.
- Dealing honestly and fairly with customers and refraining from engaging in any deceptive or unfair practices.
- Behaving in a respectful, decent, and professional manner when serving in the capacity as a chimney sweep.
In an effort to help homeowners with the decision-making process, the CSIA recommends taking a cautious approach with regard to selecting a chimney sweep. To ensure your job is done right the first time, you’ll more than likely want to ask some or all of the following questions of any prospective chimney sweeps (you may even come up with a few questions of your own):
- How long has your company been in business?
- Do you offer current references?
- Do you have any unresolved complaints filed with the city or state consumer protection agency or BBB?
- Do you carry a valid business liability insurance policy to protect my home and furnishings against accidents?
- Do you ensure that a CSIA Certified chimney sweep will be on the job site?
Asking these questions will usually guarantee that your chimney is cleaned correctly the first time and will decrease the chances of you ending up with a living room full of soot and other chimney remnants when all is said and done.
CSIA-Certified Sweeps at Your Service
The CSIA is a nationally recognized certification institute specifically for chimney sweeps and chimney inspectors. They have classroom training and standardized testing requirements to receive the certification. What’s more, the CSIA has certain requirements and a code of ethics by which their certified chimney sweeps must abide in order to remain certified. Certified chimney sweeps must also re-certify annually and participate in continuing education courses.
The CSIA recommends that homeowners with fireplaces take care in choosing who will perform their annual chimney or vent inspections because professional service can mean the difference between a home that’s safe and one that’s unsafe. Remember: not all chimney sweeps are created equally. A chimney sweep technician should be capable of finding any potential hazards and/or deficiencies that may exist.
You can feel confident that the technicians at Owens Chimney Systems have the knowledge and expertise it takes to do the job right the first time! We are committed to customer service and dedicated to customer satisfaction. Give us a call today; our radio-dispatched team is ready to respond to your chimney needs courteously and promptly.