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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Your Local Certified Sweeps

Owning a chimney is a big responsibility. If there are issues with your chimney system that you are not aware of, it can cause complications with your fireplace’s performance, and be a considerable fire or structural safety hazard. With so much at risk, it is important that you choose a chimney sweep with the skills, training, and experience to inspect, maintain, and repair your chimney and fireplace. In addition to this, you want a chimney sweep that is going to conduct their business fairly and without cutting any corners. That’s why we here at Old Smokey’s want to let our customers know why it is important to us that all our chimney sweeps receive and maintain a certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Only a CSIA certified chimney sweep is qualified to perform maintenance, inspections, and repairs on your chimney and ventilation system.


What is a CSIA certification?

The CSIA is a non-profit organization that was originated to create certification standards for chimney sweeps in relation to chimney and ventilation maintenance and safety. In addition to this, the CSIA also requires that chimney sweeps take an oath, promising to practice ethical business practices.

There are a few steps required to becoming CSIA certified. First, sweeps need to go through a rigorous training schedule related to the latest chimney, fireplace, and ventilation maintenance and repair techniques. Sweeps will then need to go through another training on chimney and ventilation safety issues and standards. Once their training is over, chimney sweeps need to pass a comprehensive exam based off of their training.

Once they’ve passed their exam, there is one final step that sweeps need to complete before certification. The CSIA has every sweep to create a personal code of ethics and conduct. This code of ethics is created with the consumer’s well being in mind. Each code must state that a chimney sweep will always keep their costumer’s safety as a top priority when working on their chimney and ventilation systems. They must also make a promise to never cut corners when working for a customer and to conduct ethical business standards. Once they develop their code, sweeps must swear to uphold their code, and perform their work with integrity. Once this step is completed, sweeps are eligible for certification.

Once a certification is issued, that doesn’t mean that a chimney sweep is done with the certification process. Technology is always changing, so sweeps need to stay current with the latest techniques related to chimney maintenance and safety. That’s why the CSIA requires all sweeps to be recertified every three years.

If you are in need of a chimney inspection or repair, now is a great time to schedule one! Beat the fall rush and call Old Smokey’s today to have one of our CSIA certified chimney sweeps inspect your chimney. If you live in the northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region, you can reach us at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online today!

Scheduling Tips As Fall Approaches

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost coming to an end and soon it will be time for decorating pumpkins, raking leaves, and watching the trees change to their autumn foliage. Fall also brings cooler weather, which means it will soon be time for cuddling around the warmth of a glowing fire with loved ones. However, you want to be sure that your fireplace is ready to use when you need it. If you wait until the last minute or until a problem arises to schedule a chimney inspection or maintenance appointment, it may be a little more difficult to schedule a time-slot that best fits your schedule. At Old Smokey’s, we want to give you some tips on scheduling a chimney inspection and maintenance appointment for the fall. By following these tips, we can help save you time and headaches of waiting until the last minute.

Picture of a chimney

When should I schedule a chimney inspection or cleaning?

Although you may be a few weeks away from regular fireplace use, now is one of the best times to schedule a chimney inspection. When cold weather starts to set in, there are a lot of people trying to use their fireplace, all at the same time. Naturally, problems that may have occurred and gone unnoticed during warmer months may start to show up when people build a fire for the first time. This means that we get a lot of calls in a short period of time for maintenance issues. This means our schedule time-slots fill up very quickly during these times making it difficult to schedule at a time that fit your schedule best.

The great thing about chimney inspections and cleanings is that they can be done at any time of the year. This means that you don’t have to wait until the fall rush to schedule an appointment. Being proactive and scheduling a chimney inspection or cleaning during the summer will make it a lot easier to schedule a time that is more convenient for you. Scheduling in summer also has a couple of added benefits. First, if there are any issues discovered that need to be addressed, there is plenty of time to get them taken care of. Second, you can be sure that your fireplace will be ready to use the first time you need it when cooler weather sets in.

What are some summer chimney issues?

You may think “my chimney was working fine last time I used it. What could have gone wrong during the summer?” There are a lot of potential problems that could have arisen since your last chimney inspection. Winter is especially tough on your chimney. Wind, freezing temps, and moisture can cause your chimney to erode and crack. The stormy summer weather can also take its toll on your chimney. Also, problems can arise when birds and other nesting animals try to use your chimney for their home during the spring and summer. With so many potential issues, it’s easy to see why it is important to take care of your chimney inspection as soon as possible.

If you are in need of a chimney inspection, now is a great time to schedule one? Beat the fall rush and call Old Smokey’s today to have one of our CSIA certified chimney sweeps inspect your chimney. If you live in northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region, you can reach us at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online today!

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