Modern chimney cleaning
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Today, chimney sweeps still maintain a thriving new industry in many parts of the world. The industry has expanded from the maintenance of wood-burning fireplace and appliance venting systems to include venting for many types of heating appliances, such as heating oil, natural gas, wood and pellet burning appliances, building furnaces and space heaters. The standard chimney brush is still used, along with more modern tools (such as vacuums, cameras and special chimney cleaning tools), although most sweeps are done from the bottom of the chimney, rather than the top, to prevent the dispersion of dust and debris.
Most modern chimney sweeps are professionals, and are usually trained to diagnose and repair hazards along with maintenance such as removal of flammable creosote, firebox and damper repair, and smoke chamber repair. Some sweeps also offer more complicated repairs such as flue repair and relining, crown repair, and tuckpointing or rebuilding of masonry chimneys.
In the US, two trade organizations that help to regulate the industry.
Certification for chimney sweeps is issued by the Chimney Safety Institute of America - a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational institute.
In the UK there are four trade associations:
- Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps
- The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps
- Institute of Chimney Sweeps
- The National Association of Chimney Sweeps
In Canada there is one Educational Association that Trains and Certifies