When hiring a chimney company, there are a few big things to keep in mind before making any commitments.
First of all, have you looked at their references or at any online reviews? Most companies should be able to provide you with some recent testimonials, and it’s always encouraged to do your own research, too, with a quick online search. What customers write in their online reviews (as well as how companies respond to negative reviews), says a lot about the team you’re looking to hire!
You’ll also want to ask if they have insurance, whether or not they’re licensed, and how much experience they have in the field.
Finally, be sure to inquire whether a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep will be on the job. This is one credential that says a lot about the company you’re looking to hire!
About the CSIA
The CSIA is a nonprofit that has been around since 1983, and it has been a leader in the chimney and venting industry ever since its beginning. It’s run by a board of volunteers, all of who are knowledgeable experts in the trade, and its mission is to keep sweeps well-informed and educated on how to best perform chimney and fireplace services.
But it doesn’t end there… The CSIA also believes in keeping homeowners educated, which is why community involvement is a big priority. They’re known for offering training at fire departments, doing presentations at schools, sharing their expertise at local safety events, and more.
Finally, the CSIA has a strong Code of Ethics that it holds sweeps to. Chimney techs cannot become certified until they sign this code, which requires them to remain honest, professional, and respectful when providing services for their customers. A CSIA-certified sweep will always strive to perform at the highest level possible!
Getting Certified & Re-Certified
So, one reason getting CSIA-certified is so respected in the industry is because sweeps are required to recertify every 3 years. This means that they’re always continuing to refresh their knowledge, as well as add new information and training that’s recently developed. In this type of industry, where new technologies and information is consistently being added, always staying in-the-know is imperative!
But how does one gain their certification in the first place? Rest assured, it’s not so simple as merely paying a small fee and receiving a label to display on your website. Sweeps must pay for and study multiple texts, complete a review session, then take a lengthy and comprehensive exam. One thing is for certain – at the end of it all, they’ll definitely know their stuff!
Beware Claims of Certification
As implied above, just because a company says they’re certified, it doesn’t mean they actually have the knowledge or training to back up the services they’re providing. All too often, these companies are simply looking to upcharge for services or even sell extra services that you don’t even need.
Because of this, it’s always important to do your research to make sure their certifications are actually earned, not just a word they’ve slapped into their business name or description.
Other questions to ask include:
- Is the certification from a for-profit company or a non-profit organization? Non-profits will have more of a focus on ethics, education, and safety. For-profits are likely just looking to make some easy money.
- Does the certification need to be maintained with continuing education? The chimney industry is an ever-evolving one, so requiring renewals or recertification means sweeps are always staying up to date on any changes or new advancements.
- Is the certification from an established organization? The longer it’s been around, the more likely it’s legitimate and respected in the industry.
- Does becoming certified require adhering to a code of ethics? Values are important in a field where one wrong move can put an entire household at risk! A strict code of ethics will ensure you’re in the best hands possible.
We also suggest doing an online search and reading up on articles about any organizations in question – just make sure they are published by reputable and trusted sources.
Call On Us for All Things Chimney
The Chimney Guys, LLC is run by Nick & Grace Guy, both of who have a passion for bringing Charlottesville and its surrounding cities the best care available. Nick has over a decade of experience in the chimney industry, and he is eager to ensure nearby communities are able to use their fireplace safely and efficiently season after season.
The Chimneys Guys is also both licensed and insured, they are certified by the CSIA, and they’re members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). One look at online reviews, and you’ll see that they are well-trusted for all things chimney and have become the go-to team of experts for countless families throughout the area.
Don’t wait any longer for the care you deserve. Call today or reach out online to set up an appointment with our team – we’d love to speak with you soon!