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Hiring a Sweep: What to Look for

You love the warmth your fireplace adds to your home, both in terms of beating the chill and the ambiance it creates. Clearly, you want to keep this home asset functioning at the top of its game. But when it comes to inviting a chimney professional into your home to maintain your fireplace and chimney system, what should you look for? 

You know you want someone reliable who possesses the knowledge and skills to deliver on the services you require. You’re also looking for high levels of integrity, professionalism, and service mindedness. And you’d like your home to be left as mess-free as possible when the work is completed too.

So, how can you hire someone who checks all the boxes? Finding the right chimney sweep has a lot to do with knowing the right questions to ask.

Are They CSIA Certified?

round CSIA logoThe chimney industry isn’t nationally regulated, and most states don’t require special licensing to operate as a chimney sweep. That means that, technically, anyone with a set of brushes could brand themselves as a professional sweep. While this may be surprising, it doesn’t mean there’s no way to tell whether someone is qualified.

In the world of chimney sweeps, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) sets the industry standard when it comes to certification.

Run by a volunteer board of industry experts, the CSIA is dedicated to promoting excellence in the trade and encourage education about chimney safety. If a sweep bears the CSIA seal, it means they have:

  • successfully passed a comprehensive exam demonstrating broad and thorough industry knowledge
  • maintained their knowledge base and awareness of current safety standards by re-certifying every three years
  • committed to adhering to the CSIA code of ethics, acting with professional integrity, and promoting the safest known practices

While there’s no national regulation, that doesn’t mean there’s no standard by which to screen potential chimney sweeps – and a CSIA certification is an excellent place to start.

We want to be accountable to a high standard, which is why we maintain our CSIA certification. As a matter of fact, our founder, Bob Harris, has even served on the Ethics Committee for the CSIA. When you trust in us, rest assured our standards are high.

Do They Have Any Industry Memberships?

Industry memberships are professional affiliations that demonstrate a chimney sweep’s desire to stay “in the know” with continuing education, technological awareness, and professional growth. Reputable associations provide numerous opportunities for development and service in the industry.

We feel that investing in our trade, educating the public about fireplace safety, and keeping our own knowledge sharp and growing are all worthwhile endeavors. That’s why we’re so involved with industry associations.

In addition to the CSIA, we’re members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and the New Jersey Chimney Sweep Guild (NJCSG). As in the CSIA, our founder has served the NJCSG by leading. His roles have included serving as director and secretary, treasurer, and vice president, and he is currently the president of the NJCSG.

How Experienced Are They?

Judging by our record of industry certification and service, it will probably come as no surprise to you that we have a fair bit of experience under our belt. We’ve been serving Northeast New Jersey for over 25 years. As far as the customer is concerned, knowledge, skill, and experience are a winning combination – and one we’re proud to offer.

What Do Their Customers Have to Say?

a sad, happy, and neutral face with checkboxes next to themWe’re good at what we do. With our track record in customer service, you can take our word for it, but in the technology age you don’t have to. When you’re searching for a chimney sweep, checking out online reviews is a good way to round out your perspective and get the total picture.

Are clients content with the sweep’s punctuality? Cleanliness? Friendliness? Explanations of service and charges? Whatever your priorities, you’re likely to find someone who’ll tell you their experience with the company in question. 

Making an Informed Choice…

It’s often said that there are no guarantees in life, but with just a few key questions you can make an informed decision about the person who takes care of your chimney and fireplace.

Routine care, such as annual inspections and regular chimney sweepings, are an important part of keeping your chimney system operating optimally.

✓ Your chimney sweep should be trained to spot any potential maintenance issues, such as deterioration or cracking.

✓ They should offer proactive solutions that minimize repair costs that grow if issues are unseen and unchecked.

✓ They should be committed to thorough work that dramatically reduces the risks of chimney fires or uncontained fires.

✓ They should be able to walk you through services and the costs involved in a friendly, transparent process and answer your questions.

Call Today to Work With Our Sweeps

You care about your home. Thankfully, we do too. And we have the skills, knowledge, experience, and dedication to provide you top-notch service that meets your needs.

Call 973-450-1947 to schedule or simply reach out online now to get started. We can’t wait to work with you soon.

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