Anyone with the right equipment can call themselves a chimney sweep, so how do you distinguish between someone who knows and understands chimneys and fireplaces and someone who will charge a premium rate for a casual cleaning of your chimney? It’s an important decision. Your chimney sweep removes dangerous creosote deposits, which can lead to a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, from your chimney and looks for structural weaknesses, water leaks, and other chimney problems. If you have a gas fireplace, a heating stove, or a fireplace insert, your chimney sweep ensures that all of the working parts are cleaned and operating safely and efficiently.
Look for a CSIA-certified chimney sweep
Fortunately, there are industry watchdogs and organizations that can help you distinguish a knowledgeable, experienced chimney sweep from the casual chimney sweep. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is the certification gold standard for the chimney sweeping industry. The CSIA offers education, training, and exams for chimney sweeps, and serves as a resource to homeowners for chimney and fireplace education.
CSIA-certified chimney sweeps have been trained and tested in:
- Industry best practices
- The construction and mechanics of chimneys
- How wood burns and how creosote forms
- The codes and standards related to chimney construction, vent construction, and fireplace installation
- EPA requirements
CSIA-certified sweeps also must uphold the association’s standards, including guaranteeing that they will adhere to all CSIA guidelines; know and comply with all local building codes related to chimneys, stoves and fireplaces; follow manufacturer’s instructions when installing products; maintain professionalism with clients; inform clients of safety guidelines related to their chimneys, stoves, and fireplaces; and avoid deceptive business practices.
Other things to look for in a chimney sweep
The CSIA offers up other advice for property owners seeking a chimney sweep. When researching a new company, the CSIA says homeowners always should ask how long the company has been in business, if the company has any unresolved complaints with the consumer protection bureau or the Better Business Bureau, does the company carry insurance in case your home or property is damaged during your chimney sweeping, and does the company promise that a CSIA-certified sweep will be on site during the entire service. Additionally, homeowners should seek out references for that chimney company.
In addition to the CSIA, there are other resources for finding a chimney sweep that will do their job responsibly and professionally. The Better Business Bureau offers its accreditation to businesses that are in good standing and allows consumers to search for businesses that have complaints lodged against them. The website Angie’s List also offers its seal of approval to highly rated companies, and homeowners can search for and read reviews on chimney sweeps via the company’s website.
You can trust Coopertown Services!
When it comes to chimney sweeps in Memphis, Coopertown Services is a name you can trust. We are CSIA-certified and members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. When it comes to humane animal removal, we are affiliated with the National Wildlife Control Officers Association. We are a Better Business Bureau accredited business, and we’ve been recognized by Angie’s List with the Super Service Award for the last two years.