By lemaster 05 Mar, 2016
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that people take a few steps when considering which chimney sweep will perform an annual inspection or related service on their chimney or vent. Because proper care and attention to service can help protect people from unnecessary fires and carbon monoxide poisonings, it is important to choose the professional wisely. While the CSIA recommends that people consider a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep®, there are additional questions that should be asked to ensure that the person hired is a credible service technician:

1. How long has the chimney sweeping company been in business?
2. Does the company offer current references?
3. Does the company have unresolved complaints filed within the city or state consumer protection agency or Better Business Bureau?
4. Does the company or individual carry a valid business liability insurance policy to protect your home and furnishings against accidents?
5. Does the company ensure that a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep will be on the job site?

There are more than 1,600 CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps located within North America. To ensure that homeowners receive a certified sweep at every job, all chimney sweeping companies promoting the credential are required to have a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep on every job site. To locate a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, please use the CSIA Certified Professional Locator on this site – Source: How To Hire A Chimney Sweep.
By lemaster 05 Mar, 2016
just wanted to let you all know that unfortunately there are a lot of chimney scams out there right now. I want to encourage all of you to do your homework! If you are called by a chimney sweep service make sure that you ask the right questions. What is their experience? Are they certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America? Can they provide references? Are they insured? If they cannot or are not willing to answer these questions then DO NOT USE THEM!!!!! Also all CSIA certified chimney sweeps carry a badge with their pictures and license number, ask them to show it to you! The Better Business Bureau has issued this press release due to the large number of scams out there right now. Here at Sweeps & Ladders we will be more than happy to help you in any way that we can. We will answer all questions and yes we are experienced. Yes, I am a nationally certified chimney sweep through the CSIA. Yes, we are insured. Yes, we would be glad to provide references to you! Please read this press release below and do your homework. Don’t just hire anybody to do this job!

Better Business Bureau: Don’t get smoked out by chimney sweep

With chilly weather fast approaching, many people are anticipating toasty evenings spent relaxing around their fireplaces, and they’re looking to have their chimneys cleaned in preparation.The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is advising consumers to do their research so they know which businesses to trust and which to avoid to prevent their hard earned dollars from going up in smoke.So far this year, the BBB has received more than 380 complaints against chimney cleaners, up from the 342 complaints received in all of 2010.

“Chimney sweeping is not something that homeowners deal with often, so many of us lack knowledge of how the process works,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB. “Scammers take advantage of this and do shoddy work … or no work at all.”

In some cases, consumers have reported receiving calls stating the town fire department recommends the resident’s chimney be cleaned. The calls go on to recommend a particular chimney sweep and endorse their services on behalf of the fire department. Though town fire departments do recommend having chimneys cleaned on an annual basis, they do not inspect chimneys or endorse any particular company. Many scams target the elderly, making vague, unclear phone calls claiming they have done business in the past and it is time for their annual sweep.

Scam artists also sometimes advertise much lower prices than legitimate businesses. Typically, a professional chimney sweep will charge between $150 and $200 for the cleaning of one chimney shaft, whereas scam artists will claim they charge as little as $50. The BBB advises that if a price sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Many scam artists will use a low price tactic to get in your door, at which point they recommend additional work be done immediately, bullying the consumer into a much pricier service call. If the estimate you receive is significantly lower than that of other businesses, it should be viewed as a red flag.

The BBB suggests consumers do their homework before hiring a chimney sweep and inviting them into the home. Additionally, check with your local fire department and with the Chimney Safety Institute of America (

Ask if they have a valid business liability insurance policy, and if any employees are certified through CSIA, a national nonprofit agency with a certification program for chimney sweeps.

For more advice from BBB, visit . The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to promote, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the general public.

Remember if you want you chimney cleaned by a certified and experienced chimney sweep then please give us a call!

By lemaster 05 Mar, 2016
I was asked this question the other day. What makes us different than every other chimney company out there? I was glad that someone asked me this question. So, what is it that makes us different?

In order to answer this question I must first tell you why my wife and I started Sweeps & Ladders. I have a passion for the fire service. I love the job and all aspects of firefighting. The thing about working for the fire department is that we have an unusual work schedule. We work 24 hours on and 48 hours off. So 2 out of every 3 days you have a lot of free time to work another job. I wanted to find a job that would allow me to carry over my passion for the fire service and use the experience that I have earned and make additional income for my family. I have tried a lot of different things and I never found anything that meet this criteria. That is until I started in the chimney business!

When you first start in the fire service you think it is all about putting out fires. Extinguishing the fires is obviously a large aspect of it, but the longer you are in the fire service you realize that it is more about preventing the fire from ever happening. When I first started as a career firefighter I had an engineer tell me something that I will never forget. This gentleman had been on the job for over 20 years and he was, needless to say, a seasoned veteran. He had been on some of the biggest fires our department had ever seen. He summed it up best when he said, “I have never been to a fire where somebody hadn’t lost something that they couldn’t replace.” I want to try to teach people how to use their chimney and dryer vent safely so that they do not have to worry about their precious things being lost. The first step in preventing a fire from happening is educating people about fire safety. Here at Sweeps & Ladders, we want to educate our customers about what the hidden dangers are and how to identify potential fire hazards concerning your chimney and dryer vent. We are not there to just show up, clean your chimney or dryer vent, and then leave. We want to spend time with you and make sure that you have a full understanding on how to build a safe fire, how your chimney works, what types of wood to burn and so on. We also want to make sure that all of your questions are answered thoroughly. You see, unlike most chimney sweeps out there I have fought chimney and dryer vent fires and I can tell you that if I never have to do it again that would be fantastic!

The thing that sets us apart from others is simply that if we do not do our job right and do it right the first time it may be me or one of my friends that have to put the fire out. I am passionate about preventing fires from happening. I want to keep you and your family safe! If you want a chimney sweep that will take the time to teach you how to safely use your chimney and dryer vent then you have come to the right place. We want to be known as the fire prevention chimney company. If you have any questions or if you would like to know more about chimney and dryer vent safety then give us a call!
By lemaster 05 Mar, 2016
Most people never really think of their chimney as something that needs regular maintenance. You use your fireplace or stove for a season and then it warms up and the fireplace is an after thought. The fact of the matter is that your chimney needs and requires regular maintenance to ensure that it will function properly. Think about this. You are going to start a fire in your home and you are just assuming that everything is safe and that it will function the way that it was intended to. Don’t you want to be sure that it is safe to use!

Your chimney is exposed to the outside elements 365 days a year. The weather is hard on chimneys and a lot of things can change in one year. All it takes is one crack like this this one to cause a major fire in your home. This is why it is so important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned on an annual basis! Cracks like these will be found during an inspection and cleaning. We will let you know what we find, show you pictures and give you options so that you can safely use your fireplace again. This chimney is not safe to use. If an ash or ember were to get in one of these cracks it could spell major problems! Along with the threat of the possibility of an ash or ember getting through these cracks you also must realize that carbon monoxide can also escape through these cracks and seep into your home. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that with prolonged exposure can be fatal.

We want to keep you and your family safe and that is why we preach about all aspects of fire safety and we want to educate you about the hidden dangers in your home. You are expecting your fireplace to work safely, and we want to make sure that it does. When I first started my career as a firefighter over 11 years ago I quickly realized that in order for people to be safe from fires they have to be educated about where the fire hazards are and how to prevent them from happening. I carry this attitude and knowledge over to Sweeps & Ladders and we want to educate you about fire safety and how to prevent chimney fires from happening in your home.

I will take the time to answer all of your questions and help you understand how your chimney works and what hidden dangers to look for! You trust me as a fireman to put the fires out when they occur. I want to educate you and work with you to prevent them from ever happening.

Sweeps & Ladders is your full service chimney and dryer vent company. We perform chimney cleans in the entire Middle Tennessee area as well as masonry repairs, dryer vent cleans just to name a few. If you live anywhere in Middle Tennessee, Franklin, Brentwood, Nashville, Spring Hill, Fairview, Dickson or any other Middle Tennessee community and you need your chimney cleaned or inspected give us a call and we will help keep you safe!

PS- If you think of anything that you would like to discuss concerning chimneys or dryer vents let me know and we can cover the subject!

Tommy Nelms
By lemaster 05 Mar, 2016
It is that time of year again! I love the fall. The leaves are starting to turn, football is is full swing and the temperature is starting to cool. This is when people start thinking about sitting around the fireplace with their friends and family. There is just something so soothing about burning a fire in your fireplace. Some say it is the sound, some say the smell and some say the warmth. I say it is all of the above. There is nothing better than coming in from a hard days work to that smell of a burning fire and feeling that warmth and hearing the crackle of the wood burning. My family and I love to sit around a fire. It just brings back so many great memories for us.

We always had a fireplace growing up, but I never realized until I started my career in the fire service what a tremendous responsibility it is to have a safe functioning fireplace. It suprises me how many people just assume that their fireplace and chimney are in safe working order. Why would you assume that something is safe? You are going to start a fire in your home and you are assuming that the fire will be contained. Growing up my family and I were guilty of just assuming our chimney was safe. Not knowing any better I just assumed that chimneys were not something that needed to be regularly maintained. I was wrong! When I began my career in the fire service I quickly realized how common chimney fires are and in most cases chimney fires are preventable! NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends that you have your chimney cleaned and inspected on an annual basis. With routine cleaning and inspection, potential fire hazards will be identified and can be corrected therefore mitigating the possibility of a chimney fire. Here at Sweeps & Ladders we want to prevent a fire from happening in your home. As a career fireman I have seen first hand what a chimney or dryer vent fire can do to a home and we want to make sure that it does not happen to you and your family.

Did you know that October 9th-15th is fire prevention week? I am sure that you have seen the signs in front of almost every fire station in Middle Tennessee. Fire Departments across the country are trying to make people aware of the potential fire hazards in their home, and education is the first step in preventing a fire from happening. Sweeps & Ladders does not just come into your home, clean your chimney and leave. We will take the time to teach and explain to you the potential fire hazards associated with your chimney and dryer vent. In order to be safe you have to know what the dangers are and we want to help you understand what they are and how to avoid them.

I have dedicated my professional life to fire safety. Sweeps & Ladders was founded to carry over my experiences and knowledge from the fire service and pass that information on to others. As a fireman and a nationally certified chimney sweep, I want to help you learn how to keep your family safe from fire. I have been a fireman for over 11 years and I have seen too my fires that could have been avoided. That is why Sweeps & Ladders is your chimney professional of choice. We bring over 11 years of firefighting experience and knowledge to every job. We are you number source for chimney cleans and dryer vent cleans in Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, Murfreesboro and all of Middle Tennessee. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a cleaning please feel free to give us a call.

Tommy Nelms
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