The Value of a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
By Doug Hetsch
December 31, 2014
CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep
Most parents would hesitate to send their children to a school filled with unlicensed teachers, and most people would balk at taking a medication that has not been approved by the FDA. With good reason, we tend to put more trust into products and professionals that have been approved and certified by a credible institution. Using that same logic, utilizing a CSIA certified chimney sweep can mean more than just peace of mind.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, is a not-for-profit institution comprised of volunteer industry experts that work together to provide the most up to date safety information on chimneys and fireplaces. The CSIA upholds an ongoing commitment to reduce and eliminate chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisonings, and other dangers related to chimneys in the home. As a part of this commitment, the CSIA has created theCertified Chimney Sweepcredential as a tool for homeowners to measure the expertise of the chimney sweep they choose.
The CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep credential requires the chimney sweep to pass a comprehensive, regulated exam covering the most recent version of the International Residential Code and the National Fire Protection Association Code 211. Upon passing the exam, the credential can be renewed every year for up to three years before the sweep must retake the exam or provide proof of continuing education. In other words, a certified sweep is a reliable expert in the field.
A reliable expert like a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep knows how to spot the hazards associated with chimneys and fireplaces, while a noncertified sweep is not guaranteed to have that knowledge. The most common hazard sweeps deal with is creosote buildup in the chimney. Creosote is a black, tarry material that forms from burning wood, and it clings to the surface of the chimney. Highly flammable, this material burns very hot once ignited and is very difficult to extinguish. Chimney fires that burn creosote can be very devastating. As such, a certified chimney sweep knows to remove every bit of creosote during a routine sweep to keep the home and family safe. Another hazard the certified sweep will know how to properly handle is a chimney obstruction that can cause carbon monoxide intrusion. The sweeps can also help spot damage to the chimney and point you to the right resources to address it.
All in all, the certified sweep is a trustworthy expert in his or her field. While a noncertified sweep may get the job done, you can always rely on a certified sweep to keep your home and family safe, so you can enjoy the winter with a greater peace of mind. If you live in the area of Louisville, Kentucky, contactAll American Chimney Service, LLCto schedule an appointment with a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep today.