by Lou Curley
The chimney industry is unregulated throughout most of the country.
Because of this, anyone with a set of brushes is able to call him or herself a chimney sweep.
Since most of the chimney is out of the view of homeowners, they put their trust in the knowledge of a chimney sweep to do the inspection and/or cleaning and make sure their venting system is in good repair. Defective chimneys can cause fire damage, smoke damage, or carbon monoxide spillage into the living area.
Every year there are news reports of unscrupulous companies and individuals preying on homeowners’ fears of fire and carbon monoxide to sell unnecessary, and expensive repairs. At the end of these reports, the reporter will recommend a “CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.”
The CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep credential is the most accepted, nationally recognized certification in the chimney sweeping industry. It’s our industry’s best protection again those unscrupulous business people who want to take advantage of consumers.
A sweep with the CSIA credential has passed a rigorous exam and has demonstrated the basic knowledge to service your chimney or venting system. In addition to certifying chimney sweeps, CSIA offers many other advanced classes such as: chimney physics, a stainless steel relining class, several inspection classes, and they even offer a certification in dryer vent service.
These advanced classes show up as icons next to the sweep’s name on the CSIA website so you can see exactly what training each sweep has.
You’ll find my name on the website’s certified sweep list. I’m proud to have just been recertified in July by CSIA with five advanced icons appearing alongside my certification.
Rather than hiring just anyone with a set of brushes based on a cold call, coupon or a yellow page ad, hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep this year and trust that your family’s safety will be the first priority.
Guest blogger Lou Curley is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and owner of Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is Drexel Hill, PA.