5 top questions to ask your chimney sweep
When cold air comes, generally homeowners start lighting up the fireplaces using their wood stoves and furnaces. But how many of these homeowners do not have a regular chimney inspection or cleaning maintenance program? Sure this is not fun for everyone and may be tedious but it will save you money and ensure your chimney is functioning properly for a lifetime. More often than not homeowners just don’t remember when their chimney needs to be aided by a professional chimney sweep. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 211 states that, “Chimneys, vents and fireplaces ought to be inspected yearly for their functionality and freedom from deposits and clearances. Cleaning and maintenance such as repairs shall be done as needed.”
So That is the national safety standard. It takes into account that should you not use your chimney often it is possible animals may build nests in the chimney and other types of deterioration may occur causing the flue to become unfit for use. if you have not had your chimney service since the winter it is a good time to contact a certified chimney sweep. Of course it goes without saying you want a chimney sweep that is certified and has plenty of experience. For more information on that you could visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) which is a nonprofit educational organization that primarily is dedicated to the safety of chimneys and thanking systems. CSIA is great resource for chimney safety and I can help you choose your chimney sweep professional as well.
CSIA recommends you ask the following 5 questions:
- How long have you been in business?
- Can you show me some references?
- Do you have any unresolved complaints filed? (pending lawsuits)
- Do you carry valid liability insurance?
- Do you ensure a CSIA certified chimney sweep will be on the job?
They also recommend you choose a chimney professional that has the capability of video scanning as part of their services. It offers a clearer picture of what may be going on with your chimney. The other benefit is it allows you to see what they see creating an even playing field. The word to the wise here is you are looking for an established company and not some fly-by-nighters.