You should consider hiring a chimney sweep if you can’t remember the last time your chimney was cleaned, or if you just bought a home with a fireplace. A chimney sweep will remove soot, blockages and built-up creosote from your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber and damper. It only takes only a small accumulation of creosote glazing to create the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood. You should also schedule a yearly chimney inspection to check for cracks, crumbling, proper venting and more. If your chimney needs cleaning at that time, your chimney sweep will tell you. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends you ask several questions when you’re thinking about hiring a chimney sweep for cleaning or a chimney inspection. Because proper care and maintenance can help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s important to choose the professional wisely. While the CSIA recommends that people consider a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®, there are additional questions that you should ask to make sure you hire a knowledgeable service technician:
- How long has the chimney sweeping company been in business?
- Can I get current references?
- Does the company have unresolved complaints filed within the city or state consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau?
- Is the chimney sweep licensed?
- Does the company or individual carry business liability insurance and workmen’s compensation insurance to protect you and your home against accidents?
- Does the company ensure that a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will be on the job site?
- How much do they charge and why?
After getting answers to these questions, you should be able to determine who you’d like to work with. After an initial cleaning and inspection, most chimney sweeping companies will offer to set up a yearly maintenance contract. This will help ensure that you keep your home and family safe. If you need to hire a chimney sweep or need a chimney inspection, call Sweep A Chim today at 410-838-8519. We’re certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America, and licensed with the state of Maryland, MHIC #37037.