Look for the right skill certification.
First and foremost, start by doing your homework and make sure they are CSIA certified. BEWARE!! Virtually anyone without any training, education, or experience can call themselves a chimney sweep. Occasionally, sweeps advertise they are "certified", but they may not be. There are some people that call themselves a "chimney sweep" only because they own a few brushes, a vacuum, and a ladder. For your own safety, if they are not Certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), you should not use them. Certification is a personal credential, so be sure the particular technician coming out to your house is indeed certified. Would you take your car to a mechanic that was not certified? Would you go to a doctor that does not have a license? Why would you let a non-certified chimney technician inspect or service your fireplace, the unit in your home that you use to burn wood or gas to keep your family warm?
Certified chimney sweeps gain their knowledge through hours and hours of rigorous studying and testing. In order to become certified, these sweeps must pass a written examination based on fire codes and standards for the construction maintenance of chimney and venting systems. They also need be retested every three years to maintain their certification. Each individual on the list carries a CSIA photo identification badge which shows their certification number and expiration date.
We know industry standards for construction requirements.
Due to our certification, we are providing our customers with proven solutions to their chimney problems. We know you want to receive the maximum value for your dollar, and contracting with a Certified Chimney Sweep, like us, is your best choice. It takes years of training and experience to be skilled in the trade. Preventive maintenance is always more cost effective than repairs that could have been avoided. Annual inspections are critical for a chimney's safety and yours. When you contact a chimney cleaning company, make sure they only send a CSIA Certified sweep to your home. Rest assured, all of our jobs have a CSIA certified sweep.
How often should your chimney be cleaned and/or inspected?
To put it simply, yearly. To make sure your system is in proper working order, we follow the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). This association is a non-profit organization that compiles data from thousands of fires every year and their findings provide the basis for building and fire safety codes. Their recommendation states "have a professional inspect the chimney, chimney connector, and other related equipment every year." Also, the Chimney Safety Institute of America "recommends an annual chimney inspection and sweeping when necessary."