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The Value of a CSIA Cerified Master Chimney Sweep

The CSIA Master Sweep Certified Image - Memphis TN - Cooperstown ServicesWhen choosing a chimney maintenance company, certifications and professional credentials matter. For many homeowners, hiring a CSIA certified chimney sweep was a way to ensure that a highly trained professional was caring for your fireplace in chimney. However, the CSIA recently expanded its credential offerings to include “Master Chimney Sweep,” a new distinction available only to a few of the best chimney sweeps in the country.

What is a Certified Master Sweep?

For many years, holding a Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, certification was the highest professional accreditation in the chimney and fireplace industry. In 2016, however, the CSIA expanded its credential offerings to include “CSIA Master Chimney Sweep”.

“This credential identifies the best of the best”, said Mark Stoner, CSIA Board President. “The individuals hand-selected for this honor have consistently proven themselves in the industry and have truly gone above and beyond in their efforts to stay at the top of their field.”

The Master Chimney Sweep credential represents the highest – and most difficult to achieve – level of certification for chimney sweeps. While the CSIA Certification is earned through a testing and education process, the Master Chimney Sweep certification is done through an application, vetting, and interview process by the CSIA Board of Directors. In addition, potential applicants for this certification must already hold a CSIA Certification for at least ten years.

Why work with a certified chimney sweep?

Fireplace and chimney maintenance is about more than just ladders, brushes, and vacuums; true, effective chimney maintenance requires education, training, and an extensive knowledge base. Because of this, homeowners should always work with CSIA certified chimney sweeps.

To earn a CSIA certification, sweeps must pass a certification test that includes subject areas such as building codes, EPA efficiency standards, and best practices for cleaning, inspecting, and maintaining a variety of heating appliances. In order to maintain this certification chimney sweeps must retest every three years; this ensures that all certified sweeps are up to date on the latest safety and technology standards in the industry.

Working with a certified chimney sweep goes beyond training and professionalism; earning a CSIA certification requires chimney sweeps to adhere to a code of ethics. For homeowners, this means that you can trust you are receiving fair and honest service at competitive prices.

At Coopertown Services, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with a variety of high quality chimney and fireplace services. Whether you have animals in your chimney, need your fireplace rebuilt, or need an inspection before buying or selling a home, our highly trained staff of chimney sweeps can provide you with the best service the industry has to offer.

Using a certified chimney sweep ensures that you are working with a true industry professional. A Certified Master Chimney Sweep, meanwhile, is one of the most experienced and trusted professionals in the country. If you are in the Shelby County area and are ready to trust your chimney maintenance to a Certified Master Chimney Sweep, contact Coopertown Services today.

By Christina Robinson on October 10th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Safe Burning Practices for Residential Fireplaces

Fireplaces make a beautiful addition to any home, and a wood burning fire provides a level of ambiance and warmth that is unmatched by almost any heat source. However, there are still best burning practices that owners of residential fireplaces should follow.

Safe Fireplace Use - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

Following these safety tips can ensure that homeowners are using their wood burning fireplaces in the safest and most efficient manner possible.

Know the Local Rules

During prolonged dry periods or droughts, some counties may enact burn bans to protect the drier than normal plants from accidental fire. Likewise, many cities and towns have rules or regulations regarding what can or cannot be burned within city limits. If you have questions about burning practices in your area, contact your city or county government.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Not all fireplaces are created equal. Each fireplace make and model has unique operating instructions. Likewise, different fireplaces are designed to use certain fuel sources, be used for certain amounts of time, or have a certain heat output. By familiarizing yourself with the manufacturer’s regulations for your specific fireplace make and model, you can ensure that your fireplace is being used as safely and efficiently as possible.

Burn Only Wood

Residential fireplaces are only designed to burn their designed fuel source and should never be used as means of waste disposal. Avoid burning paper products, cardboard, Styrofoam, and other forms of garbage as they are not meant to be burned indoors and can burn uncontrollably and damage the fireplace and chimney system. The safest fuel source for wood burning fireplaces is seasoned firewood. Seasoned firewood has been cut, stacked off the ground, and exposed to the elements for a minimum of 6-12 months. This process removes the majority of moisture from the wood, allowing it to burn cleaner, more efficiently, and at higher temperatures.

Other forms of wood including pretreated, stained, or painted wood from old fencing, decking, or playground equipment should never be burned in fireplaces. According to the EPA, this wood can release toxic chemicals when burned. Likewise, green or freshly cut wood should not be burned because it burns at lower temperatures and produces more creosote than seasoned wood.

Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms

Each year, thousands of Americans lose their lives in house fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Correctly installed and maintained smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are one of the least expensive and most effective things homeowners can do to prevent fire-related injury or death. Even if you only occasionally use your fireplace, a functioning smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector can alert you and your family if anything is wrong.

Have Regular Cleanings and Inspections

The most important safety step homeowners can take is to regularly have their chimneys cleaned and inspected. An annual cleaning removes any harmful buildup of creosote, a highly flammable, black, tarry substance that is a naturally occurring byproduct of wood burning fires. Creosote buildup in the chimney can be ignited by sparks when the fireplace is in use, and is the number one cause of chimney fire in the United States.

If you have questions about best burning practices in your area or would like to schedule a cleaning or inspection, contact Coopertown Services today!

By Christina Robinson on November 29th, 2014 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Tell Me About Chimney Mold

Chimney molds are not something to take lightly. They are very dangerous to your health. If you think molds are in your chimney, call us.

Chimney molds are not something to take lightly. They are actually very dangerous to your health. If you think molds are in your chimney, call us.

Whenever mold is present anywhere in your home, it is a serious situation that deserves immediate attention to protect the health of you and your family and to prevent the mold from spreading further into your house through your fireplace. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the mold basics are control the moisture source causing the mold, clean up the mold and fix the water leak problem as soon as possible, and dry out water-damaged areas and items within 48 hours to prevent further mold growth. Leaky chimneys can cause mold growth in your chimney, which can spread into your home. When you know the mold is coming from your chimney and fireplace, calling an experienced chimney servicing company like Coopertown Services is the best thing you can do as we can take care of your chimney mold problem for you. We would like to tell you more about chimney mold so you can be aware of the possibility of its presence.

What are the signs of chimney mold?

Mold can appear on the bricks of your fireplace; however, most often mold develops in hard-to-find places inside your fireplace and chimney. Sometimes mold will appear in the room where the fireplace is located, and if this is the case, you should contact Coopertown Services to inspect your chimney for mold. Other signs of chimney mold include an unpleasant musty odor and the development of respiratory health problems in you and your family. These health problems include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and headache.

Why is mold growing in my chimney?

Most likely, a leaky chimney is the main reason you have chimney mold as water must be present for mold spores to grow. According to the EPA, mold is a natural part of the environment, and it has important duties outside like breaking down dead organic matter including dead trees and fallen leaves. However, mold should never occur indoors, and the only way the harmless mold spores in the air can develop into mold growth is if they land on a wet surface, such as a wet chimney wall. For this reason, you can see the importance of maintaining the condition of your chimney and why you need an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from a Chimney Safety Institute of America-certified company like Coopertown Services. Not only can we find leaks in your chimney, but we can repair them to prevent mold from ever growing in your chimney and fireplace.

What do I need to do before Coopertown Services comes to remove the chimney mold?

If the chimney mold has spread to your fireplace and the room of your fireplace, you can begin clean up; however, you need to take caution and follow EPA guidelines:

  • Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, and dry completely. You can use an antifungal cleaner like Foster 40-80 and a stiff brush.
  • Porous and absorbent materials like ceiling tiles and carpet will most likely have to be removed and thrown away. The mold can spread into the empty spaces and crevices of this type of materials, making the mold impossible to remove.
  • Never expose yourself or others directly to the mold. Wear an N-95 respirator, an inexpensive breathing mask available at most hardware stores and on the Internet. Also wear gloves made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC. Never touch a moldy surface with your bare hands. Finally, wear goggles with no ventilation holes so you do not get mold or mold spores in your eyes.

If you suspect you have a chimney mold problem, contact Coopertown Services immediately so our expert and experienced technicians can come out to remedy the issue as quickly as possible.