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Most people think a chimney sweep is a person that sweeps the chimney.  This is true, but this isn’t the only thing a chimney sweeper does.  This is a profession that needs training and education.  A person can’t just climb on a roof and sweep a chimney. It isn’t that easy!
Years and years ago children were used to sweep chimneys. Poor orphan children were used as they were small enough to fit into the chimney. Many children were scared of the dark area and men would light a fire under the children to get them to climb upward to clean the chimney. That is where the old phrase “light a fire under you” came from. Laws changed and children were stopped in the use of cleaning a chimney.

A chimney sweep is a professional that is a technician that inspects, installs, cleans and keeps your chimney performing and functionally properly.  There is a lot of training a chimney sweeper must go through.  Each state has codes that must be enforced for the safety of the homeowner.  These codes are enforced and each chimney sweep must be educated on these codes.

There are tools and equipment that is used by a chimney sweep.  Each chimney sweeper must learn how to use and operate each tool.  A qualified chimney sweep should be certified and to be certified, then they must attend classes of certification.  These classes will teach the chimney sweep the correct way to clean, install and service all chimneys.

If your chimney liner has a crack, then that must be repaired by the chimney sweeper.  He isn’t going to sweep the crack, but he will repair it.  This is all taught to the sweeper.  Long are the days when a chimney sweeper used a broom to clean the chimney. Times have changed and there is new technology available to clean the chimney out safely and effectively.
A chimney sweep is also an inspector.  The sweeper will inspect a chimney for damages, safety and make sure the chimney is ready to be used.  If the chimney needs cleaning, then this will be done.  Creosote is often in a chimney and has to be removed. Sometimes the creosote has reached a higher level which requires more than just sweeping and this is all done by the sweeper.
To ensure that you have a qualified chimney sweeper, then you should ask the sweeper if they are certified, trained and insured. The chimney sweeper will gladly tell you the information if they are qualified to do your chimney inspection and work.

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