About Chimney Sweeps International
Chimney Sweeps International was established by Ray Gessner, the owner of A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps. He is a licensed professional engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Engineering from Old Dominion University. Ray opened and established A Step in Time in 1997. Throughout operating his business, Ray was always frustrated with the inability to gain knowledge and education in the chimney industry. There were various educational programs which could be expensive to the common chimney sweep. Ray decided to share his experience and provide online testing for free of charge. This training program is a way of paying it forward to chimney sweeps everywhere.
Chimney Sweeps International connects our members with homeowners. We require our members to take 25 specific photos per inspection (less for prefabs) and they are required to email these photos to the homeowner. This honest, all cards on the table, allows for any knowledgeable chimney sweep to give a good 2nd opinion regarding the chimney inspection, recommended repairs and repair cost. This allows use to review these inspection photos in case our customers need a 2nd opinion.
In 2006, Ray had a dream to produce industry training videos to quickly train chimney sweeps and inform customers why certain repairs were important. It has taken nearly 15 years to develop a clear vision and implement this task. Today, Ray offers many training videos to educate homeowners and chimney professionals. Videos for home owners are more basic and easier to understand. Videos for chimney sweeps are technical and focuses on chimney codes. Most of these videos are free homeowners and sweeps to enjoy.
This is what the chimney industry has needed forever. The age of technology is arriving! Everyone has a smart phone. Everyone has ability to download an app. What if there was a way in “real time,” your technicians could take 25 photos and instantaneously, the photo receives quality control comments with applicable building code violations, recommendations for repairs and industry cost estimate. This not only trains your technicians but 2nd opinions are provided to your customers in real time.
Let’s Get Started!
Joining Chimney Sweeps International is fairly easy and there are 3 initial member levels. The first member level is as an individual, second is as an employer and thirds is as a supplier. Each level of membership receives different perks. Individuals join to receive training while employers may join to receive leads from potential homeowners. Suppliers can join to help sponsor and become friends with our chimney employers.