Company Blog

How to Hire a Chimney Sweep

Do You Need A Chimney Sweep?Not all chimney service companies are created equal. While capitalism has its advantages, it does have its downsides and one of the less attractive happenstances associated with it in regard to hiring a chimney sweep is that virtually anyone can start a chimney sweep business in these United States. This presents complications for homeowners looking for top-quality service and expertise that comes from experience and good training. So…..

How can you be sure who you are hiring?

How can you know what a company uses as criteria when developing their standards? How can you figure this out before inviting them into your home?

Here are some things to consider:

  • What credentials do they hold?
    • The truth is…the chimney service industry is largely unregulated and it can be
      difficult to determine a technician’s level of skill and the company’s overall
      commitment to excellence. Fortunately, the Chimney Safety Institute of America
      (CSIA)—a nationally respected, nonprofit organization—has an established
      certification program to help standardize chimney sweep credentials. Hire only a
      CSIA certified chimney sweep when selecting service technicians to take care of
      your home.  But that’s not all……
  • What kind of insurances and licenses do they hold?
    • Liability Insurance ensures that a sweep is protected when they visit your home in the event of an accident or injury
    • Workers Compensation protects the sweep company’s employees in case they are injured while they are performing the company’s work.
    • State Retail License ensures that the State recognizes them as a legitimate business.
    • Contractor’s License ensures that the State recognizes the company as having expertise in designated areas.
  • How does the company set their appointments?
    • A professional, top quality chimney service company will show respect for your time. They will be able to give you as small a window as possible for arrival time, a confirmation call, a call when on the way and be willing to clearly communicate with you throughout the entire process especially when there are scheduling complications such as delays and weather issues.
  • Does the technician provide proper ID and present themselves professionally?
    • Because a service technician will be coming into your home, it is paramount for the company to establish a level of trust — and for you, the homeowner, to be comfortable. Look for the company brand on vehicles, uniforms and paperwork. Don’t hesitate to ask who will be coming to your home and subsequently to ask for ID when the technician arrives. And finally……
  • What do other folks say about them?
    • A company’s online presence can be helpful in determining the level of service that is consistently offered. Check out a company’s reviews, their website, and their Facebook page. If the company in question has a poor reputation or it’s hard to find out anything about them, it might be a good idea to move on.

If your intention is to hire an experienced, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep with an established, reputable company, contact Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth today.

We are committed to the highest quality of service. We hold your trust in high regard. We want to answer your questions!

Knowing What to Ask When Choosing a Chimney Sweep

If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned and inspected recently, don’t worry – there is still time.  Today’s post is going to provide some basic information about common problems, levels of inspection and choosing the best sweep.  The chimney sweep you ultimately hire to partner with you to maintain your chimney, if chosen wisely, can usually answer any questions you may have.  Here’s a few that come to mind.

Why do you need a chimney sweep?

Even if you don’t use your chimney regularly, unexpected things can happen.  One way to look at this question is to consider what could happen if your chimney goes unattended.

  • Creosote is released during the burning of the firewood, can collect on the interior of your chimney and may cause blockages. Creosote buildup can lead to draft problems and/or chimney fires.
  • Draft problems, if associated with gas fuel, can contribute to dangerous carbon monoxide entering the home.
  • Uncovered chimneys can provide attractive shelter for nesting animals.
  • If excessive water absorption is an issue, leaving it unaddressed can result in a shortening of the life of the chimney structure.

Levels of Inspection

There are different levels of inspection, and they have different purposes.  When interviewing a prospective chimney sweep company, ask to make sure their technicians now how to perform these inspections as they are defined by the National Fire Protection Association.

  • A level one inspection is the most basic inspection.  This inspection is most often called for with annual maintenance.
  • A level two inspection is what you will have done if the technician sees issues while doing a level 1 that indicate a video scan should be performed.  It will also be recommended if there have been any changes in the way your chimney is being used (change of fuel or appliance), if the chimney is new to you, or if the house is being bought or sold.
  • The third level is what will need to be done if diagnostic measures require any part of the chimney to be deconstructed.

Questions to Ask when Choosing.

How do you make sure you are getting trained professional who will do the job right.  Here are some things you might ask.

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • What kind of training do employees get?
  • Does the company have any testimonials or reviews?
  • What have neighbors or co-workers heard about the company?
  • If there are any negative comments or reviews on the internet, how were these handled publicly?
  • Ask if the company has any business liability insurance.
  • Are they a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep?  The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is the only nationally recognized certification organization for chimney sweeps.

Getting Ready

There is really nothing you have to worry about that is chimney specific when preparing for a visit from a qualified professional chimney sweep except

  • Do not burn a fire for at least 24 hours before the sweep appointment.  This will assure that it the fireplace is cool enough to work in.
  • Remove valuable breakable objects from the mantle and hearth areas.
  • Restrain pets so they cannot interfere or get hurt during the process.

An informed customer is a customer better able to make decisions about his or her home. Here at Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth, we want you to feel confident about your sweep, the services you desire and knowing the job was done well. Call us today to schedule your annual inspection.  To schedule your appointment call Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps|Bless Your Hearth today to speak with our friendly folks in customer service!