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A Brief History of the Chimney Sweep

Chimney Sweeps have long been popular figures in literature and cinema. Everyone remembers childhood books and movies with the figure of a chimney sweep– usually dressed head-to-toe in black, with a small black cap. But when we think of chimney sweeps and cleaning, we usually picture soot, lots of soot, and we imagine sooty ears and sooty faces peering out from under their caps with raccoon eyes. Today, the traditional figure of a chimney sweep is often shrouded in superstition. In parts of Europe, chimney sweeps bring good luck.

During the Victorian Era, chimney sweeps were a symbol of the harsh extremes of the Industrial Revolution and of the unparalleled mechanization and growth of cities. The use of wood burning stoves and heaters meant that chimneys became quite commonplace. Many of these chimneys were small in diameter. In many cases, children were hired because they were capable of fitting in these small chimney spaces. Because of little regulation at the time, these young chimney sweeps worked long hours with little pay.

Much has changed, however; today, the chimney repair field is regulated and chimney sweeps make up a growing and lucrative career path. Becoming a chimney cleaning specialist requires technological know-how and physical dexterity. The equipment and technology employed by chimney cleaning professionals has advanced in recent years and to good effect: chimney sweeping is now safer and cleaner for both sweep and customer. Nowadays, chimney cleaning technicians use high-powered lights, various brushes and vacuums to ensure only the most efficient chimney cleaning.

For most of us, our fireplace and chimney are centrally located in our homes. Nevertheless, we rarely think about chimney sweeping because a chimney is out of sight, out of mind. Often we don't know our chimney needs cleaning until our fireplace starts to smoke or our damper won't close. We want the most efficient chimney cleaning and at the right price. For a consultation, it is necessary to first contact a licensed chimney sweep in the Greater Sacramento area. If you live in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado or Yolo County, you'll notice that most modern chimney sweeps are a far cry from their literary and cinematic ancestors.