Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Always Hire a Certified Chimney Sweep
Having your home’s chimney regularly inspected and sweeped by a CSIA certified chimney sweep is an important aspect of regular maintenance. Without proper cleaning and care, dangerous and flammable buildup (including creosote) can accumulate along the inside of your chimney, putting your home at a greater fire risk. Meanwhile, routine sweeping of your chimney can help keep it in good order so that you can enjoy your wood-burning fireplace with greater confidence and peace of mind.
When it comes time to hire a chimney sweep, you might think that all companies are more-or-less the same. In reality, this could not be farther from the truth. You don’t want to hire just any chimney sweep for this important job; instead, you’ll want to take some time to do your research and find a chimney sweep that has been formally certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
What Does it Mean to Be Certified as a Chimney Sweep?
The CSIA offers two levels of certification for chimney sweep professionals. One is “Certified Chimney Sweep” and the other is “Master Chimney Sweep.” Both are important designations that indicate a chimney sweep has gone above and beyond to complete additional training and provide clients with the best possible service.
CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep
A CSIA-certified chimney sweep is one who has carefully studied several key chimney publications, including:
From there, these professionals must pass a rigorous exam based on these publications. At the time of the exam, these professionals must also sign a Code of Ethics.
Currently, there are only about 1,800 professionals across the United States and Canada who hold the CSIA-certified chimney sweep designation. In order to maintain their designation, these professionals must also complete continuing education courses and pass their certification exam every three years.
Master Chimney Sweep
When you work with a chimney professional who has been certified as a Master Chimney Sweep by the CSIA, this means that the chimney sweep has completed extensive training, paid a substantial application fee, and worked as a designated Certified Chimney Sweep for at least nine continuous years.
Becoming a Master Chimney Sweep is so prestigious that there are only a handful of these designated professionals working in each state.
Benefits of Hiring a Certified Chimney Sweep
1. Unrivaled Training
Both CISA-certified chimney sweeps have completed extensive training and have a great deal of experience in the field. This means that not only have they studied some of the most important material as it relates to chimney cleaning and fireplace safety, but that they have attended review sessions for this information and passed a series of exams on chimney sweeping practices and residential code.
When you know the chimney sweep you’re hiring has this much training and experience, you can rest assured that your chimney service will be completed properly and with the utmost care. Unfortunately, when you work with an uncertified chimney sweep, you cannot guarantee that he or she has been trained on the industry’s best practices and safest techniques.
2. Ongoing Education
Certified chimney sweeps also set themselves apart by having to receive continuing education in order to retain their certification. Like many industries, the chimney cleaning industry is ever-changing and evolving. Staying on top of changing trends, innovations, and best practices requires chimney sweeps to receive ongoing formal training.
Specifically, CISA-certified chimney sweeps are required to re-take and pass their certification exams every three years. Likewise, they must also complete some continuing education courses to make sure they stay well versed in the most recent industry developments.
All of this means that the professionals you hire to complete your chimney sweep will be aware of the most recent innovations in the industry, which allows them to provide you with the highest level of service. When you work with an uncertified chimney sweep, he or she may be using outdated or even dangerous practices without realizing it. In this sense, hiring a certified professional gives you even more protection and peace of mind.
3. A Strict Code of Ethics
Another important thing that sets CISA-certified chimney sweeps apart from other chimney sweep professionals is their adherence to a strict code of ethics as set forth by CISA. Chimney sweeps are required to sign CISA’s code of ethics when they take their initial certification exams. This code of ethics
includes important requirements regarding sweeping techniques, fair business practices, compliance with building codes, professional demeanor, and more.
When you hire a chimney sweep who is certified, you can also rest assured that he or she has pledged to follow this strict code of ethics. In turn, you can feel better knowing that you’re receiving service from a professional who takes this code seriously and is always looking to best serve his or her clients with integrity and respect.
4. Protect Your Home
Because certified chimney sweep professionals complete extensive training on chimney/venting essentials and safe practices, they are familiar with the techniques necessary to clear your home’s chimney of flammable creosote buildup and other debris. This can give you the peace of mind you need in knowing that you are proactively reducing the risk of a fire in your home.
Unfortunately, inexperienced and uncertified chimney sweeps may not have the most up-to-date training or equipment needed to perform the most thorough and safe cleaning of your chimney. As a result, you could still end up with creosote and other dangerous buildup even after your service is complete.
Schedule Your Chimney Service Today
As you can see, there are many benefits to working with a certified chimney sweep the next time you need these services. Whether you hire one of about 1,800 CISA-certified chimney sweeps or can even track down a certified Master Chimney Sweep, you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that these professionals have extensive training, receive ongoing education, and abide by a strict code of ethics in their work.
Not sure whether a company you’re looking at offers certified chimney sweep professionals? You can always check with CISA directly for an up-to-date list. At All Pro Chimney Service, we take a lot of pride in our Master Chimney Sweep designation that is carried by only a handful of professionals in the state.
Ready to schedule a chimney sweep appointment? All Pro Chimney Service is happy to serve Washington DC and the surrounding areas in both Maryland and Virginia. Contact us today to find out more about our certifications or to schedule your first chimney sweep appointment with our experienced team.