How to identify a qualified chimney sweep. Maintaining the chimney and fireplace in your home is an important step to take to protect yourself and your family from incidents such as accidental fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

However, it is not always easy to find a qualified chimney sweep who you know you can trust to take care of your home.

Scam artists may try to draw you in with unbelievably low prices, only to end up taking poor care of your chimney or making you pay extra to do unnecessary repairs.

We know what it takes to be a trustworthy, reliable, qualified chimney sweep. Here are a few things to look out for the next time you search for a chimney sweep.

Proper Certifications

The number one way to ensure you are hiring a qualified professional to sweep your chimney is by making sure they have a certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

The CSIA is a nonprofit organization that has dedicated its work to educating, training, and certifying chimney professionals and related industry professionals. They also work to raise public awareness about dangers that can arise from chimney fires and other chimney and venting issues.

A good place to start when searching for a sweep is to use the CSIA search function to find CSIA certified professionals within a given radius of your zip code.

If you find a potential chimney sweep without using the CSIA website, make sure you ask them for written documentation of CSIA certification. Sometimes the owner of a company is CSIA certified while the individual employees are not.

Another nonprofit organization that is a good indication of a quality chimney sweep is the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG). 

The NCSG is a trade association that provides education and advocacy for professionals within the chimney and venting industry.

While this is not an official certification, membership in the NCSG indicates that the chimney sweep is a professional who is dedicated to their chimney maintenance expertise. NCSG members stay aware of current industry best practices and the latest technologies.

Strong References and Reputation

Always try to ask for a list of references when you are searching for a chimney sweep.

If they will not provide you with any references, this could be an indication that they are not a qualified professional or that they do not have a great reputation with their past clients.

Contact their references to ask for a quick summary of their satisfaction level with the chimney sweep and their services.

Word of mouth can also be a great way to find trustworthy chimney sweeps and avoid those with poor reputations.

Ask your neighbors or other people in your local area who they or their friends have used for chimney services. Once you have a name of a chimney sweep from them, you can check that they are CSIA certified and have other strong references to back them up.

Proper identification is also an important part of finding a trustworthy professional to work with inside your home.

Most companies will provide their employees with identification badges, and they will most likely arrive at your home in a marked vehicle wearing the company’s official uniform.

Always ask for identification and make sure that it matches with the information you have for the company.

Liability Insurance

Ask about the company’s insurance policy. You want to hire someone who has full coverage liability insurance in the event that damage occurs to your home.

Since the chimney sweep will be on your roof and inside your home, it is essential to know exactly what their insurance policy covers and to only hire professionals who are fully insured to protect your home.

It is not likely that you will ever actually have to worry about chimney insurance coverage, but accidents do happen.

Hiring someone who has a full coverage insurance policy will give you peace of mind and ensure your home is safe and protected.

Hire a Qualified Professional Today

Having an annual chimney sweep done in your home is the best way to make sure your chimney is in the best condition it can be and that your home is protected from chimney fires.

Finding a qualified chimney professional doesn’t have to be hard.

At B+E, we have all CSIA-certified technicians on our experienced team, and we take great pride in maintaining community safety.

We want you to be able to sleep soundly at night with the knowledge that your home is safe and has a well-maintained chimney and fireplace.

Contact us today to work with a qualified chimney sweep!