Find a chimney professional in your area
Like most things, your chimney needs regular maintenance to keep working properly and safely. The National Fire Protection Assoc. Code 211 states; Chimneys, fireplaces and vents shall be inspected at least once a year. Connectors, spark arrestors, cleanouts and tee fittings connected to chimneys for oil, gas, wood, coal or pellet venting systems, shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness and deposits. Cleaning, maintenance and repairs shall be done if necessary.
If you are a homeowner, we can help you to locate a professional chimney sweep who will be able to offer you their professional services.
Hiring the right chimney technician to properly evaluate, sweep, and repair these systems is a very important decision. No other area has a more powerful impact on the well being of your family than your heating and solid-fuel burning systems, (furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves) and the chimneys through which they vent.
With so many chimney sweeps to choose from, it may be difficult to know if a sweep is reputable, well-trained, and operates with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity.
Massachusetts currently does not regulate chimney sweeping or chimney inspection, however, chimney construction and repairs are regulated by the State of Massachusetts and require all of the following:
1. MA (HIC) Home Improvement Contractor's registration
2. MA (CSL) Construction Supervisor's License
3. Workman's Compensation Insurance (this is not a requirement of the State for sole
proprieters with no employees, homeowners should consider the possible liability exposure
of this exemption and if you do hire a sole proprietor who has decided not to cover himself
you should at least make sure that you are hiring the owner and he is not using any other
Homeowners should verify and get copies of at least all three of those things before hiring someone to do a repair.
In order for a homeowner to make an informed decision regarding hiring a chimney company, they should also base their decision on the following criteria all of which are requirements of being a Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild member:
A technician (on staff) who is experienced at being certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), or by Certified Chimney Professionals (CCP), or by a Massachusetts Chimney Sweep Guild's Equivilency Test (MCSG-ET).
Liability Insurance - homeowners should verify it by getting a certificate of insurance made out in your name from their insurance company listing you as a certificate holder or an additional insured.
Other good questions to ask / things to do:
Inquire how long the firm has been operating.
Ask if they have local referrals you can verify.
Ask if the company holds any professional memberships or affiliations, then verify them. Most professional groups list members online.
Insist that all repair recommendations and costs are clearly equated and ensure all work to be performed is clearly documented in writing.