Our Company Blog
We are Certified
If you own a fireplace, you know how important it is to invest in regular maintenance. If you need to schedule your annual sweeping or inspection, or if you feel that you’re in need of some repairs, it’s time you call on a team that you can trust! Luckily, for folks in the San Diego area, Weststar Chimney Sweeps is here to help!
Our staff takes pride in earning and maintaining their CSIA certifications. This is an important step for any chimney sweep to take and, companies that don’t obtain it, simply don’t have the expertise necessary for doing a thorough evaluation of your system. Even so-called “experienced” sweeps won’t know about the latest advances and technology in this ever-evolving field!
We advise you to only hire CSIA certified sweeps for any of your chimney or fireplace work, and to be on the lookout for companies claiming certification, without any evidence to back it up. It’s easy for a business to say they’re certified (making them sound more reliable) without actually doing anything. If they don’t have any specifics as to where, how, and when they gained these credentials, then they likely don’t actually have them!
To save you stress and headaches down the line, hire a qualified team, like the staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, from the very start. When you work with technicians like ours, you won’t be disappointed!
About The CSIA
The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) is a non-profit organization that is completely dedicated to educating sweeps and homeowners on safer fireplace practices. Since its start back in 1983, it has set the standard for how fireplace and chimney care should be handled. This organization trains and certifies countless sweeps every year. Homeowners can have the peace of mind they deserve while providing warmth and comfort to their homes and families.
One of the best parts about the the CSIA is their strict code of ethics. You don’t have to worry about the intentions or integrity of your sweeps when they carry this certification. The CSIA promotes fairness and professionalism, and they make their sweeps sign an oath to use their knowledge with only the best of intentions. This means they’ll be honest and straightforward about what your home needs and how you should proceed forward with all of your chimney repairs and maintenance.
It’s an easy choice to make. If you need help with your chimney, only trust in a CSIA certified professional for the job!
It’s Time To Call On Us
If your sweep isn’t CSIA certified, any damages or other issues they leave behind is now on your shoulders. That means more cost to you, and you’ll be left doing a lot more work! Hire us from the start, so that you can rest easy this winter and enjoy your fireplace to the fullest. Let us take this burden off of your shoulders – give our licensed, certified, and insured staff a call today!
As a homeowner, you have likely heard about the importance of regular chimney upkeep. Annual inspections and sweepings are a key component in maintaining chimney health and they ensure that everything will run efficiently year-round.
If you have yet to schedule your annual sweeping, then now is the ideal time to get it in! With winter in the near future, your fireplace will surely be running more frequently. Keep your home and family toasty on those snowy nights by calling in an expert to check things out today!
One way a sweep prepares your fireplace for regular use is by removing debris build-up and creosote. Clearing these substances out greatly reduces your risk of chimney fires, which put your chimney through a lot and cause them to break down more easily over time. Creosote is very flammable, so the more you have, the more dangerous your fireplace is to run. Offer yourself some peace of mind by scheduling your next chimney sweeping right away.
Clearing Out Blockages
Experts know the ins and outs of any chimney, so if there are any blockages they will be sure to find them. Getting these taken care of before lighting your next fire is vital for keeping your home and family safe. Without the ability to properly vent, your chimney will send smoke and other harmful toxins back into your home. Inhaling fumes, such as carbon monoxide, smoke, and more, can be extremely detrimental to one’s health. Keep your family out of harm’s way by calling in an expert now.
Addressing Needed Repairs
Any leaks, cracks, holes, or other needed repairs should be fixed before you start building fires. When your chimney is damaged it will not run as efficiently and it could put your home and family in harm’s way. Now is the time to address any issues, as the weather remains warm. Once temperatures drop, the materials used to fix your chimney will not cure properly, leaving you with a broken fireplace until spring reappears.
We Can Help
At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we take chimney health very seriously. Our staff is trained and certified by the CSIA and we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date and educated on the latest fireplace news. Customer satisfaction is our top priority which is why homeowners return to us time and time again.
If you need your chimney swept before cold weather strikes and the holidays kick off, then give us a call today and let us help you out. We work carefully and thoroughly, so that you can rest easy knowing every inch of your chimney has been addressed. We want your home to remain as safe as possible, which is why our technicians strive for perfection with every job they take on.
For more information or to schedule your appointment, give us a call or check us out online. We look forward to making your home the best it can be. Thanks for choosing us!
The thought of the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning happening in your home is very frightening; however, neglecting regular chimney maintenance can result in carbon monoxide leaking into your home without you even knowing it. Odorless, tasteless, and invisible, this toxic gas can become trapped within your house. If you do not have a carbon monoxide alarm installed to alert you of this danger, you and your family could get very sick or even die from continuously inhaling this poisonous gas. Another way to be safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning is to schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from Weststar Chimney Sweeps. This step can stop this gas from entering your home in the first place. We would like to inform you about these dangers so that you can best protect yourself and your family.
How Does Carbon Monoxide Affect My Body?
When you breathe in carbon monoxide, the poisonous gas enters your bloodstream and how your blood treats this gas is the true danger. Hemoglobin, a protein in your blood, will always choose to pick up and carry the carbon monoxide and to ignore oxygen. Of course, we need oxygen flowing through our blood to keep our cells from suffocating. The amount of damage caused depends on how long and intense you are exposed to inhaling carbon monoxide, which makes detecting and preventing its presence so crucial.
How Common Are Deaths and Illnesses Due to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), at least 200 people in the U.S. are killed every year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by venting problems in their heating appliance systems. Approximately 10,000 cases of sickness related to carbon monoxide are recorded in hospitals each year as well.
What are the Side-Effects and Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Side-effects of low-level exposure can include permanent brain and other organ damage. Unfortunately, the symptoms of low-level poisoning are very similar to those of the common cold: headache, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. This can cause many misdiagnoses of carbon monoxide poisoning, which prolongs the exposure. If these symptoms do not go away, be persistent with your doctor and ask for a blood test to check for levels of this toxic gas. The sooner high levels are found, the sooner life-saving treatment can begin. High-level exposure to carbon monoxide can cause death.
How Does This Gas Come Into My House?
Poor ventilation is the primary cause of carbon monoxide coming into your home; however, the factors behind the venting problems include a damaged or missing chimney flue liner, large deposits of creosote, debris clogging the passageway, and nesting from birds or other animals blocking the flue.
How Can I Prevent Carbon Monoxide from Entering My Home?
All of the factors behind chimney venting problems can be corrected with an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from Weststar Chimney Sweeps. With cases of carbon monoxide-related health issues on the rise, our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps are extra careful to clean out any blockages, check flue liners for cracks and gaps, and replace a deteriorated chimney liner to protect you from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you have not scheduled your annual chimney sweeping and inspection this year, contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today. Our staff will arrange a chimney sweep visit to your home as soon as possible to prevent carbon monoxide from entering your house.
Look for the CSIA seal when evaluating a chimney company for hire
Hiring a chimney sweep who has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to perform your annual chimney cleaning and inspecting ensures you have a highly trained and qualified technician doing the job. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep can be entrusted to be certain your chimney is properly cleaned, safe to use, and in excellent working condition. Our chimney sweeps at Weststar Chimney Sweeps have been through the CSIA certification process, which gives them further training, skills, and knowledge in this industry. Our customers often ask us what this certification means, and we would like to answer this by telling you more about the importance of this professional commitment.
What is the CSIA?
A non-profit, educational organization, the CSIA is dedicated to preventing and eliminating of chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other chimney-related dangers that can result in injuries or death. To achieve this goal, a vast collection of resources is provided to educate the public, chimney and venting system professionals, and fire prevention specialists about the proper maintenance of fireplace, chimney, and venting systems. The CSIA offers the only national certification program in the chimney and venting system industry.
What are the responsibilities and commitments of a CSIA-certified chimney sweep?
When a chimney sweep completes the training for CSIA certification, he or she must uphold specific obligations, which include:
● Practicing CSIA-recommended chimney and venting safety techniques
● Improving skills, extending a knowledge base, and learning new techniques to stay updated on safety standards for the chimney and venting of fireplaces
● Knowing all applicable local building codes concerning chimneys and fully complying with these codes
● Following closely all manufacturers’ installation instructions for chimney and venting products
● Dealing honestly with customers, refraining from unfair and deceptive practices, and informing customers about essential chimney and venting safety procedures
● Behaving professionally and respectfully when performing chimney and venting duties.
What is the process of CSIA certification?
To become certified by the CSIA, one must do the following:
● Attend a one-day intensive review session in person or a one-week review session online
● Pass a one-hour exam based on the 2011 edition of the CSIA publication Successful Chimney Sweeping and the 2013 edition of NFPA 211: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances from the National Fire Prevention Association
● Pass an open-book 90-minute exam using his/her copy of 2006 International Residential Code, published by the International Code Council
● Agree to pay the Annual Certification Fee
● Sign the CSIA Code of Ethics
What topics are covered in the certification process?
To receive CSIA certification, one must prove proficiency in the following areas:
● Technical aspects of chimney dynamics and construction
● Skilled performances of the best and current techniques in the industry
● Wood-burning physics and the formation of creosote residue, which is one of the leading causes of chimney fires
● Familiarity of and compliance with all applicable codes, regulations, clearances, and standards
● Care and installation of a variety of types of solid fuel appliances
● Requirements by the US Environmental Protection Agency
To hire one of our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, contact Weststar Chimney Sweeos today to schedule an appointment for your annual chimney sweeping
Here are some common questions to ask your sweep…this can help you as a homeowner, make better choices when it comes to your chimney maintenance.
Making good decisions means being informed. Here are some basic questions to ask your sweep.