How To Hire The Right Chimney Sweep

Your chimney may be the most important system in your house. It’s built to outlast your home and to continue working for a lifetime. However, it will not last without routine services and minor repairs. Your warmth, safety, and home depends upon it. You don’t only need professional services to keep your chimney in the best shape possible, but you also need to choose the right professionals. Anyone with a brush can call themselves a chimney sweep, but it takes certifications, insurance and ethics to have the standards to safely care for your chimney system.

CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps

Since the 1980s the Chimney Safety Institute of America has been the national standard for chimney professionals and service in the US. CSIA certified chimney sweeps (CCS) have been trained in the field and the classroom to provide the best services possible. They are educated and tested over national fire safety codes, industry standards, chimney and fire science. Once certification is reached, CSIA certified chimney sweeps must continue education through re-certification or continuing education credits every three years.

Why A CSIA Certification Matters to Homeowners

The CSIA is a non-profit organization governed by volunteer who are experts in the industry. Their mission includes public and professional education with a commitment to the elimination of residential fires, carbon monoxide intrusion, and other chimney-related hazards to protect homeowners. By hiring a CSIA certified sweep, you are relying on a technician who has proven their technical expertise and dedication to safety as well as the promise to follow a code of ethics.

Code of Ethics

We understand it can be difficult to entrust your home and your safety with strangers. That is why all CSIA certified chimney sweeps abide by a stringent Code of Ethics which protects homeowners from scams. A CSIA member found in violation of this code may have their certification revoked. Without a code of ethics to follow, unqualified chimney sweeps scam homeowners with low estimate repair costs that will not fix the problem or they charge high prices for incorrect work just to make extra money.

At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, we want to only offer the best to our customers, friends, family, and neighbors. Residential fires and industry scams are a disappointment to us and other certified professionals across the US. Scams are possible only due to the lack of regulations. One woman paid over $4,000 for repairs that were done incorrectly. This is no isolated incident. Hiring amateurs, handymen, and other unlicensed contractors to work on your chimney can mean wasted money and a dangerous chimney. The result can cause damage to the house, or worse–loss of life.

The best use of your money and our time is to schedule routine maintenance so that major repairs are avoiding. Schedule an annual chimney inspection to catch problems before minor problems turn into major work. Hiring professionals for all of your diagnostics, repairs, annual services, and installations means the best for your home.

If you reside in the Boston, Portland, or North Shore area, call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep for your comprehensive chimney care.


Why Hire a Company With Insurance

The worst thing that can happen when you’re looking to fix a problem is for something to go wrong. You wouldn’t leave your health up to an amateur, so don’t leave your chimney care up to anyone other than the certified and insured professionals, trained in chimney science. At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, our technicians are CSIA-certified, and our company is licensed and insured. That means if everything doesn’t go as planned, we have a plan!

The Billy Sweet DifferenceCozy picture of someone sitting in front of the fire with a hot beverage
At Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep we’ve provided chimney services to New England for over 30 years. We provide the highest level of customer service and care and we hold our technicians up to the highest standard as well. No matter the service, we maintain the cleanliness of the home as if it’s our own. We keep detailed documentation during the work process, and make sure the mess is contained with drop cloths, tarps, and a vacuuming system.

Routine Maintenance
If you reside in our service area, you can count on Billy Sweet for all your routine chimney services. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) chimney systems that are cleaned and inspected routinely are the safest and most efficient. Chimney sweeps and inspections are our specialty, and we do so without damaging your system. If something goes wrong and damage is incurred at our fault, we handle it through our insurance. You won’t be bothered by the cost, and we’ll get it handled quickly so it doesn’t disrupt your life. It’s vital that you choose a company with insurance so you aren’t stuck with a big bill or costly damages after services end up in repairs.

Repairs and Restorations
Billy Sweet repairs and restores chimneys in New England no matter the size, style, age, or stone type. Our masons can repair your brick. We can bring an old chimney up to code. We can restore a neglected system back to efficiency and beauty. Don’t leave your repairs and restorations up to amateurs, and don’t count on D-I-Y Youtube videos. When it comes to your chimney system, chimney science must be considered, fire safety codes adhered to, and efficiency should be a priority. Only trained and certified professionals can show your system the best care and insure the best outcome.

Worst-Case Scenarios
When you hire a neighborhood handyman or uninsured company, it’s likely that they don’t have the funding for insurance, or could not be insured due to lack of training or certifications. The worst-case scenario may happen, and the contractor would leave you with a costly repair, or make the repairs in-house, with a large bill for you. An untrained worker might damage the roof, brick, liner, crown, and more. Roof damage may be the most common problem when hiring an inexperienced chimney sweep, and may be the most expensive to repair. Don’t leave your chimney up to chance, leave it up to the professionals–trained, certified, licensed, and insured. Count on Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep.

Call our Boston location at 617-469-4528.
Call our North Shore location at 781-593-2333.
Call our Portland location at 207-773-7933.

Questions You Should Be Asking Your Chimney Sweep

Tis the season for chimney services. The fall rush is here, this is the time between October and January when chimney sweep companies are the most busy serving our customers. When it comes to finding a trusted chimney sweep, it can be an overwhelming decision. However, it does not have to be. If you are asking the right questions, your chimney will be in great hands. Here are some of the important questions to keep in mind when looking for the right chimney company for you.

Are they CSIA certified?

a beautiful masonry chimney in the fallThe first question you should ask is: Are you CSIA certified? Because if they aren’t, you need to keep searching. With help from CSIA, finding a certified sweep has never been easier. Why is CSIA so important? Well, only a CSIA certified sweep has the classroom training and field training to get the job done safely, according to code, and all at a competitive price.

Will a CSIA certified sweep charge more? Perhaps they will, but I can assure you that it will be well worth your money! Because a CSIA sweep will get the job done correctly, following local building code. They also have the credentials to back up the job, which also protect your interests. The CSIA signature on the work order or report is what your realtor, homeowners insurance, or lawyer will look for, and it’s what your city or state code requires.

Does the inspection include a video scan?

A level 2 inspection should include a video scan, this gives the chimney sweep and the homeowner a clear view of the hidden portions of the chimney. If your quote doesn’t include a video scan, you should keep looking. After a video scan, the homeowner receives a detailed report including footage and recommended repairs to restore the chimney back to safe and efficient condition. Much of the the wear-and-tear on the interior portions of the chimney can only be identified through a video scan.

Are the bids for the same job and same materials?

It’s important to find out the specific jobs and materials that are included in your bid. Some companies issue a bid for a new liner, but don’t include insulating it in the bid, this is an important step for safety and efficiency! Two bids may be hugely different in cost, but what you may not realize is that one company may be bidding for a stainless steel liner, and the other may be bidding for an aluminum liner. It’s important to know what you’re getting when you receive a bid that looks favorable. It may look easy on the bank account, but isn’t the best option for your home over time.

Look to Billy Sweet for the Sweetest Deal

Our loyal customers keep coming back year after year because we don’t just fix minor problems. We correct the problem at the source, and bring the chimney back up to code, preventing recurrence again. As a CSIA member, it’s our duty to notify homeowners of code violations and safety hazards. We take the safety of our customers seriously, and you can trust that we’ll complete diagnostics and repairs with the best work at the most realistic price! To schedule services with Billy Sweet, or or request a bid, call 617-469-4528 today!

Not All Chimney Sweeps are Created Equal

When you’re shopping around for a new physician, you usually do your homework and choose the one with the most experience, the best training, and greatest reviews. This is commonplace for physicians, mechanics, lawyers, dentists, and more–yet, for home maintenance such as chimney care, we so often see homeowners choose amateurs, local handymen, and DIY projects. This is not only a waste of money, but it’s dangerous!Not All Chimney Sweeps Are Equal Image - Boston MA - Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep

Choose a Professional for ALL Chimney Work

Whether the chimney needs a sweeping, some brickwork, relining, a part installation, or more, there is no one better suited for the job than a trained professional. It is our goal at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep to bring down the amount of residential fires in our area by not only providing services, but also valuable information about fire and chimney safety. We know that the best way to keep your family safe, is when you hire a professional.

  • It is what your homeowners insurance wants (and they may pay for it!)
  • It is required by most municipal codes/permits
  • It is required to maintain many manufacturer warranties

Choosing a professional to do your chimney work may be the best decision you’ve ever made. When installations, repairs, sweeps, and inspections are done right, you save money and can rest assured your family and home is safe.

CSIA–Not Just Any Certification

When you do a quick search for CSIA certified chimney sweeps in and around Boston, Billy Sweet is at the top of the list. We make it no secret that we train and test our sweeps through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the nation’s standard for the chimney industry.

  • CSIA is accredited and meets the highest of education standards, regulated by the Indiana State Workforce Innovation Council.
  • CSIA was established in 1983 and is the national standard by which officials, manufacturers, and others measure chimney service excellence.
  • CSIA is a nonprofit organization governed by industry volunteers and dedicated to lowering the number of residential and commercial fires across the country.
  • CSIA members must adhere to a stringent Code of Ethics which protect homeowners from scams. If found in violation, certification can be revoked.
  • CSIA focuses on public safety and industry advancements that increase safety and reduce the number of residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion, and other chimney hazards.
  • CSIA certification requires re-certification every three years through examination or continued education credits.

All of the reasons why we make CSIA certification a priority here at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, are the same reasons you should at home! We are not only CSIA certified, but also members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and active in our communities of Boston, North Shore, and Portland.

Don’t hesitate and call when you have a major problem–we offer preventative maintenance year-round. Make an appointment online or call 617-469-4528 today.

Why CSIA Certification is Important

Every year there are approximately 22,000 residential house fires due to the fireplace, chimney, or chimney connector. These fires surpass those caused by other heat sources, cooking equipment, electrical wiring, and large appliances. Chimneys can be the most dangerous thing in your house; because if it isn’t maintained properly, it doesn’t hold a fire. Likewise, if it isn’t maintained properly, it won’t vent the fire. House fires lead to property loss, injuries, and death. Carbon monoxide intrusion caused by venting issues can lead to irreparable damage, medical costs, and death. Protect against property loss, lost money, and endangering your family by having your chimney system regularly maintained by a professional. Why CSIA Certification is Important - Boston MA - Billy Sweet

The CSIA Difference

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) is aware of the hazard a faulty fireplace and chimney system can be. Since its establishment in 1983, CSIA has become the national standard for the chimney industry, making a goal to bring down the number of residential house fires and saving lives in the process.

The CSIA credential meets the highest standards of education and is regulated by the Indiana State Workforce Innovation Council, Office of Career and Technical Schools to this day.

Non-Profit Organization

The CSIA is a non-profit organization whose mission is the elimination of residential fires, and it’s governed by industry professionals from across the country to further this mission.
Code of Ethics

When a chimney sweep earns CSIA certification, he or she must abide by a stringent code of ethics designed to protect homeowners from scams in this under-regulated field. If a sweep is found to be in violation, certification can be revoked.

Continuing Education

A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) must complete classroom and field training before passing an exam which includes a portion on chimney sweeping, and a portion based on the International Residential Code (2016). After three years, sweeps must recertify through examination or continued education credits to keep up with a changing field and safety standards.

Protect Your Home and Family

When it’s time for your car maintenance, replacing your roof, or treating a bad tooth, you don’t cut corners. You hire the professionals. Don’t cut corners when maintaining and repairing the most appealing and most dangerous part of your home. Call the professionals who are licensed, certified, and insured so that your chimney gets the best care possible.

Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep has provided the highest level of customer service and comprehensive chimney care in the Boston, North Shore, and Portland area for over 30 years. The difference is the CSIA difference. Our goal is customer safety and comfort. We offer CSIA inspections and chimney sweeps to keep your chimney safe and efficient. We sell, install, and service the best products on the market, and we repair chimneys and hearth products year-round.

There is still time to have your chimney serviced to prevent chimney fires and winter damage this season. Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today. Dial 617-469-4528 or use our online scheduling tool for your convenience.

The Difference Between a Certified and Non-Certified Sweep

When it comes to professionals, there always seems to be a spectrum to choose from. There are those companies that are licensed, certified, and guaranteed. Then there are those that are merely amateurs, charging for professional work. Don’t fall victim to such scheming!

Certified and Non-Certified Sweep Image - Boston MA - Billy Sweet Chimney SweepCSIA Certification

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has been around since the 1980’s and is the standard for the chimney industry. Your realtor, insurance company, and local authorities will look for this signature on documents, inspections, and referrals. Simple put, it means your chimney sweep has:

  • Purchased study material (at a cost of over $300.)
  • Attended an in-person review, training school, or online review.
  • Taken the exam (at a cost of over $200.)
  • Signed a Code of Ethics designed to protect consumers from scams.

Once a chimney professional has completed the exams and becomes a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS), he must maintain this membership by re-examination or continued education credits every three years. Additionally, if a chimney sweep is found to be in violation of the Code of Ethics, his membership can be revoked.

Certified Vs. Non-Certified

When you choose a certified professional to come into your home, you have the assurance that they’re backed by a larger group. You don’t just get a handyman interested in chimneys. You get a trained professional who puts the safety and comfort of customers first at every turn. That is our main goal at Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep. Top-notch service costs more, but benefits the homeowner exponentially over time!

  • Preventative Care
    Routine maintenance like chimney inspections and sweeps are part of our specialty. A certified professional has the tools, the experience, and the know-how to get the job done quickly. They can also detect an issue with your chimney at its earliest.
  • Masonry Repair and Renovation
    When it comes to exterior masonry repair, you don’t have to worry about liability or damages when someone is on your roof. A certified sweep is not just covered. They are experts at these repairs. At Billy Sweet, our certified technicians are skilled masons!

Certified chimney sweeps have access to the best technologies. Also, access to top professional advisors, a network of professionals, continued education courses, and more! When it comes to the cost of hiring a professional, you may find that hiring a certified chimney sweep is slightly higher. The difference is the service, the expertise, and the benefits.

Some of the Benefits of Hiring Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep

  • When we repair your exterior masonry, we apply a waterproofing sealant for FREE! This in order to preserve your masonry and offer your the best service possible.
  • We only sell and install quality products that are backed by manufacturer warranties. Plus, we guarantee our work for a year.
  • When we clean and inspect the chimney, we document the process before and after, using a video scanning system.
  • There are many benefits to hiring a certified chimney sweep, and even more benefits when you hire Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep, your #1 chimney experts in the Boston area.

Contact Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today, and discover what a certified professional can do for you!