The chimney and fireplace industry is still widely unregulated, especially when compared to other professional groups. Because of this, almost anyone with a truck and brushes can call themselves a chimney sweep. One of the most effective ways to tell professional chimney sweeps is their membership in professional organizations and guilds. At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to have certified sweeps. We are also proud of our memberships in a variety of professional groups including the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG).
What is the NCSG?
The National Chimney Sweep Guild is a professional guild for chimney sweeps dedicated to improving fireplace safety, educating consumers, and encouraging professionalism among chimney sweeps. Founded in 1977, NCSG is dedicated to its mission of “inspiring innovation, professionalism and community among chimney sweeps and venting professionals through advocacy, industry leading conferences and journalism, covering people, tools, health, standards, and education for a successful business and the safety of the American people.”
What does the NCSG do?
The NCSG aims to increase professional standards for chimney sweeps throughout the country. Through education, members can take part in up-to-date training to keep informed on safety standards in the fireplace industry. The NCSG also holds an annual conference that allows chimney professionals to network, connect, and learn from respected industry professionals. They even go beyond the surface by providing its members with a Code of Ethics to guide their business.
The most important parts of NCSG membership is the Code of Ethics. It is designed to hold chimney sweeps to a higher standard of performance and professional behavior. Homeowners can put their full trust in members of the NCSG. Our members are trustworthy and trained professionals, who really care about fireplace and chimney with the utmost professionalism and care.
Choose a professional chimney sweep!
At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to be professional, full-time chimney sweeps. In addition to our membership in the National Chimney Sweep Guild, our sweeps are members of other professional organizations including the Builders Association of Minnesota, the Brick Industry Association, and our sweeps are all Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified.
Since 1977, we have been providing our friends in the greater Minneapolis area with comprehensive chimney and fireplace care. With more than 100,000 satisfied customers, we are ready to handle everything from annual sweepings to major fireplace rebuilds! Trust the professionals at Jack Pixley Sweeps to care for your heating appliance. Contact us today for more information on how we strive to be “The name you can trust!”
When preparing to have construction done on your home – including chimney repairs – the kind of contractor you hire can have an impact on the quality and reliability of the work. In the state of Minnesota, contractors may have either a Contractor Registration or a Contractor’s License. While the two credentials may seem similar, there are several significant differences between them. Homeowners should understand the difference between the two. Also, they should know how to look up a contractor’s credentials, before hiring someone to work on their home.
What is the Difference between Contractor Registration versus Contractor License
Only have accredited contractors work on your home, including repairs to your chimney and fireplace. In Minnesota, some contractors have a Contractor Registration. This is not an actual license. It only means that the contractor is registered with the state as a contractor. People with this designation do not need to pass any tests or other certification standards and may not carry insurance. Because of this, we recommend clients look for contractors with a Residential Contractor’s License in the state of Minnesota.
A Residential Contractor’s License is a credential that must be earned through a testing and background check process. In addition, contractors need to reapply for the license every two years. To earn a Residential Contractor’s license, the qualifying person must submit proof of insurance to the state, including the ability to provide workman’s comp and liability, as well as submit to a criminal background check. A rigorous exam must also be passed, testing the contractor’s knowledge of building dynamics, codes, safety standards, and more. In order to maintain this license, contractors must take continuing education courses as well as retest every two years; this ensures that licensed contractors are up to date on the latest industry standards.
Why choose a licensed contractor
While a licensed contractor may seem like a given when building or remodeling your home, most don’t consider it an important trait when dealing with a fireplace or chimney. However, hiring someone who is both a certified chimney sweep and a licensed contractor ensures your fireplace system is in expert hands.
When looking for a licensed contractor, homeowners can use the Department of Labor and Industry website to search for licensed professionals. Homeowners can use the search tool to find unique disciplines and classifications as well. It is able to verify the credentials of the contractors before hiring them as well.
At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to have both Chimney Safety Institute of America as well as a Minnesota Contractor’s License. We are happy to have our customers verifying our License Number #BC183369; having both CSIA certifications and contractor’s licenses allows us to provide our customers with the highest quality service possible. For more information about Jack Pixley Sweeps, our services, or why licenses matters, contact us today.
Use only a certified chimney sweep like Jack Pixley Sweeps to work on your chimney system
Fireplaces are an important part of our homes. In addition to serving a decorative or aesthetic purpose, they add value to a house and can serve as a reliable heat source during cold winter months. Despite the importance of proper fireplace and chimney maintenance, many homeowners neglect to complete necessary annual cleanings or attempt to do it themselves.
While DIY projects are a great way to save money on many household projects, cleaning a chimney system is not a project that should be undertaken by the average weekend warrior. By hiring a certified professional, homeowners can guarantee that their chimneys and fireplaces will last for years to come.
Why use a certified chimney sweep?
Just as you would not go to a dentist for a broken leg, it is not recommended to hire a regular renovation company to clean, update, or repair a broken fireplace or chimney. Hiring a certified chimney sweep ensures that the person servicing your chimney system is a trained professional who is up to date with the latest technology, standards, and techniques in the industry.
Most reputable companies will have chimney sweeps certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA. With over 1,400 CSIA certified chimney sweeps in North America, it is easy to locate one of these highly trained professionals to service your chimney system. The technicians from Jack Pixley Sweeps are certified by both the CSIA and the National Chimney Sweep Guild.
What can I expect from a certified chimney sweep?
CSIA certified chimney sweeps are held to a higher level of knowledge and professionalism than others working in the industry. Because of this, you can expect your chimney sweep to be knowledgeable about the most recent advancements in chimney, fireplace, and venting safety along with the local building codes and manufacturer’s instructions for newly installed appliances.
Certified chimney sweeps should also act in a professional manner, including taking the time to explain how the cleaning process works, answering any questions you may have, and ensuring that furniture, carpets, and any other home décor is properly protected before beginning. Sweeps will evaluate both the interior and exterior of your chimney system, employing tools like the traditional chimney brush along with more modern technology such as vacuums, cameras, and other electronics.
Why is an annual inspection important?
An annual chimney inspection or cleaning is a chore that many homeowners tend to put off or ignore. Because of this, many small problems that could be easily and inexpensively fixed are not found until they become much bigger, more expensive, and more labor intensive problems.
“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.” Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
A certified chimney sweep will be able to not only clean and maintain your fireplace system, but will also be able to identify any areas in need of repair or those that many deteriorate in the future. Sweeps are also able to diagnose the causes behind common issues such as drafty chimneys, water leakage, or animal entry.