What is a CSIA Certified Chimney Professional?

The Chimney Safety Institute Of America, CSIA, is a non-profit, educational organization existing to provide chimney and venting safety resources to those in the industry and to the homeowner.

Their goals are as follows:

  • Elimination of residential chimney fires
  • Preventing carbon monoxide intrusion
  • Improving home heating efficiency

A CSIA trained chimney professional has completed advanced training in chimney safety and has a knowledge of gas and wood burning appliance installation and service.

A CSIA trained professional can not only sweep or clean your chimney but can also perform chimney inspections on multiple levels.

Choosing a Chimney Professional

When choosing a chimney sweep there are many things to look for.

  • Is the potential chimney professional CSIA certified?
  • Is the potential chimney professional a member of the NCSG?
  • Is your potential chimney professional insured against any damage or injury that may occur?

Once you have chosen a chimney professional, it is good to continue from year to year with that same professional. They will learn your chimney and can easily notice any changes from year to year.

Why Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned and Inspected Yearly?

Yearly chimney cleanings and inspections will identify any health hazards that your chimney is offering and will protect your family.

What to Expect During a Chimney Cleaning and Inspection

Prior to your chimney sweep appointment it will be necessary to extinguish any fire at least 24 hours in advance. Remove any articles from the mantle or hearth and clear any furniture that may pose as an obstacle to your chimney professional. An 8 foot clearance should be sufficient.

To begin your chimney cleaning your professional will most likely tarp the area below and around the chimney opening. This will contain any dust or soot that may escape. Accessed from the roof the chimney will be cleaned from the top down. Any debris that is loosened will be swept from the bottom. At this point the smoke chamber, smoke shelf and firebox will be swept and any remaining ash will be removed.

Once your chimney is properly cleaned an inspection may be performed. A level one inspection is one that can be performed without the need of tools. This level inspection will note any problems that are apparent to the eye with the use of a bright flashlight. Any concerns and/or remedies will be documented.

A level two inspection is a more in depth inspection and is usually performed when there are noticeable problems occurring with the chimney. This inspection may require the use of small tools and usually involves the removal of the chimney cap and the opening of the damper plate. During this level of inspection a camera is usually dropped into the chimney to document any cracks or deterioration of the flue.

A level three inspection will involve further exposure of the chimney such as removal of walls to expose the outer portion of the chimney.

When Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned and Inspected?

A chimney cleaning should be performed at least once a year along with at least a level one inspection.

An inspection should be done after any changes in the heating system. The installation of a new heating appliance or the install of a new chimney liner will require an inspection.

Selling your home? A chimney inspection is most usually a requirement to home sales.

A chimney inspection is imperative if you have suffered a malfunction to your heating appliance, a chimney fire, or a weather related event such as an earthquake.

Protect your family by protecting and maintaining your chimney. It will be the best investment you ever made.

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