Why Hiring a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep is Essential
There are some matters in life that may not require expert attention, but issues that affect the safety of your family surely aren’t among them. The care of your chimney can actually be a matter of life and death, which is why you don’t want to hire just anybody to perform cleaning, repair, and maintenance. The reason it’s very possible to make a huge error by hiring the least expensive chimney sweep is because sweeping is an unregulated industry. Many unscrupulous people pose as qualified chimney technicians and yet don’t have any training or knowledge about the anatomy of a chimney. The way to ensure the safe operation of your fireplace is by hiring a CSIA certified chimney sweep to take care of your chimney.
Chimney sweeps who receive certification through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) can evaluate the condition of your chimney with an expert eye. Some of the important reasons you want to hire a professional follow:
- If the chimney does not function properly, it is possible that your family will be exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, and deadly.
- If creosote is not removed from your chimney, the highly flammable substance can be ignited by a spark and cause a hazardous chimney fire. The creosote can also create an obstruction that interferes with proper drafting.
- CSIA certified chimney sweeps have the knowledge to inform you about and help you achieve maximum cooling and heating efficiency in your home and how to use your fireplace in an environmentally friendly way.
- Components of your fireplace may need to be replaced, such as the firebox or flue, and an expert chimney sweep will be able to recognize potential problems. Special equipment may be required to spot deterioration, when there are no obvious signs. A damaged flue and other chimney components can lead to a house fire.
- You can trust that your chimney will be cleaned and that no mess on your carpeting or furniture will be left behind.
What Proficiencies does a CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep Have?
You can be put your trust and confidence in what a CSIA-certified chimney sweep has to say about your chimney. Certified sweeps participate in testing and education programs which provide them with indispensable knowledge. To become certified, chimney sweeps are required to demonstrate proficiency in the following areas and more:
- A comprehensive knowledge of the dynamics, construction, and all technical aspects of a chimney.
- The best and most current techniques used in the chimney sweep trade along with the skill to perform them.
- Requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Applicable codes, standards, and clearances.
- The proper installation and care of the different types of solid fuel appliances.
- The physics of wood burning and an understanding of the formation of soot and creosote in chimneys, which creates the potential for chimney fires.
What else does a CSIA Certification Stand For?
The training regimen a CSIA certified chimney sweep goes through and the professional commitment he or she makes encompasses these responsibilities and obligations:
- Continually sharpening technique, knowledge, and skill base in the area of safety practices for the chimney, venting, and the fireplace.
- Learning continuously about and following practices and techniques for chimney safety and venting as recommended by the CSIA.
- Dealing with customers in a fair and honest manner at all times, refraining from any unfair or deceptive tactics.
- At all times behaving with respect and professionalism when serving as a chimney sweep.
- Strictly adhering to manufacturer’s installation instructions for all appliances and other products installed.
- Ensuring that customers have the important information they need related to venting and chimney safety procedures.
How to Choose a Chimney Sweep Company
The CSIA recommends that consumers hire a chimney sweep company with the following considerations in mind:
- Whether the company offers a guarantee that the worker who visits your home is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. In many cases, a chimney sweep company owner will be certified and then train workers himself, but he passes the company as a whole off as CSIA-certified.
- Are there current positive reviews from customers?
- Can the company provide proof of current liability insurance coverage?
- Are there any unresolved or outstanding complaints against the company with the Better Business Bureau?
If a chimney sweep has not earned a certification, there is really no way for you to know that he or she can do a professional job. The care of a chimney is a safety issue, and it just makes sense to trust the job to CSIA certified chimney sweeps and no one else.
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