Chimney sweep is a person who performs the activity of chimney cleaning and inspections of the chimneys. This term has a long history in the society and culture. Our profession has evolved from a socially very old job to a modern certified professional attributes. In old times the resources involved, were of mostly children due to their minor physique. It was very easy for them to climb and hang into the chimney ducts etc. They were also very low paid as well. As the time passed, the profession started getting the recognition socially and professionally.
There are lots of good and bad examples of sweeps in the history of the culture. There are also some superstitions attached to this profession in the Europe. In Britain and Germany the chimney sweep are considered lucky ones. In Britain still the sweeps are hired for wedding ceremonies because it is considered lucky for a bride to see a sweep on her wedding day. A depiction of our craft is depicted on the New Year gifts in Germany. In old ages the chimney sweep used to wear a full black suit along with a top hat, which was the symbol of recognition of a chimney sweep.
In this industrialized world, all over the globe including USA this profession has got recognition through the standard institutes and guilds. This profession has big prospective business in Europe and USA nowadays with professional expertise and modernization of the sweeping process. In United States, CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) has been established to monitor, standardize and regulate the profession. CSIA provides the professional training and subsequently certificate to the professionals.
CSIA trains the chimney sweep with different systems and processes like ventilation system, usage of modern machinery in sweeping, understanding of house pressure problems and understanding of fuel producing material i.e. gas, wood and oil etc.
CSIA certified chimney sweep has very clear and effective knowledge of the all processes involved in the fireplace and chimney cleaning. He/she should have detailed procedures of chimney inspection, chimney cleaning and precaution to be taken so that any sort of mishap or problem can be averted from occurring. A modern chimney sweep uses cameras, spotlight and other equipment for the inspection of the chimney walls to find any soot or cracks whatsoever. The inspection is done with detailed procedure to follow so that not even a single problem escapes from addressing. Modern chimney sweep uses vacuum cleaner for stopping any soot or dirt to spread over the surrounding areas.
He/she has also technical expertise to advise the owner or present a solution in case of some sort of faults or cracks occur in the chimneys or its fireplaces. Certified professional are also well trained on the precautionary measures to take before and after the chimney cleaning activity. He/she also guides to take precautionary measures during the operation and maintenance of the fireplace to avoid any accident or problem. In the light of the recommendations of CSIA it is very more suitable to hire a professional chimney sweep than Doing It Yourself. This will improve the professional look and efficiency in the operation of the fireplace.