July 27, 2017

Bailey’s Chimney Cleaning & Repair Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

baileys-chimney-01By Jo Mixon

Justin Bailey & Jo

The morning I spent with Justin Bailey was so education I thought my head was going to burst! This guy really knows his business! His business? Your chimney and your safety. Did you know that only 3% of people with chimneys use the services of a certified chimney sweep? With my head down, my hands behind my back, looking at my shoes, I admit, I was one of the 3%. But after having spent time with Justin, never again will I fall into that category.

Included in the cost, every time Justin and his staff of CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Technicians clean a fireplace, they also scan your chimney with a video inspection system. This Smart-Scan system uses an iPad and a camera that they send up the chimney. If a problem is found, they can provide your insurance company with a power point presentation of the video. He says, “Our investment in training, certification credentials, and constant improvement represents our commitment to conducting our business in such a way that will improve the standing of the chimney service industry in the areas where we work for years to come.”

The home owner of the first appointment I tagged along on, wanted diagnostic information. They were concerned with smoke and ash coming into the house and staining their rock fireplace. A friend of theirs recommended Bailey’s Chimney Cleaning & Repair because he is the expert in diagnosing chimney problems. Justin told the homeowners when we walked inside, seeing the visible stains, that smoke on the inside rock is obviously a problem. Not only could it be a sign of danger in the chimney, it could also mean that it isn’t drafting properly and smoke and ash blowing in can poison the air quality in your home, leading to health problems. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be critical.

He then immediately went to work. I stood back as he set up his work area. He told me that he was not interested in leaving a mess, he respects his customer’s living space. He covered a large area before he brought in his equipment. He told me about common problems and issues with cracks inside chimneys as he set up his equipment and went to work. I got to see the inside of the chimney via his video scan system while he looked at each of the joints inside, where the pipes came together. He explained to me that dangers can happen when the seams are jarred loose even by unknowing chimney sweeps. In this particular chimney, he found no breaches in the seams with his scan. He continued to sweep and clean. Next he needed to inspect the outside chimney. As you well know, the homes in our mountains are usually two or three story structures. This one was no exception. I saw a steep metal roof….yikes! I wasn’t sure I could watch as he quickly started carrying ladders from his truck making preparation to climb. He secured the first ladder, then carried another ladder up that first ladder. He secured them to the roof and went back for yet another one. He expertly shimmied across the very high, very steep roof, moving ladders and hauling tools. About now, I was holding my breath and praying for his safety. He smiled at my queasiness and assured me, he and his staff follow OSHA guidelines when approaching roof work. His every movement was cautious and exact. With a past hobby in rock climbing, Justin finds this part of his job fun. He says it keeps it interesting! On the ground I thought to myself how I had expected to witness a regular chimney sweep that day. They come in without a word, clean quickly and get out, but that isn’t at all what I was witnessing. He reminded me more of a “chimney surgeon”. Communication with his customer was key. He spent extra time educating them and stressed safety issues.

I learned and I quote Justin from his website, “Chimney work is a trade, like plumbing or painting or electrical. A lot of people don’t understand that. I know the codes, I have the skills and the expertise to make sure your house doesn’t burn down.” and,”Dryer vents are one of the leading causes of house fires, so I decided we should become the experts in preventing that kind of danger. We got certified in dryer vent technology and were the first company in New Mexico with that credential.” Plus he attends the National Chimney Sweep Institute National Conferences to keep abreast of the latest technologies and issues. Justin grew up in Taos and has grown his business into the surrounding areas. He runs two trucks out of Santa Fe /505-988-2771 and one out of Taos /575-770-7769. (I suggest you book your chimney and vent cleaning and repair service at least two weeks in advance during peak seasons.)

When I asked why he decided to become a chimney sweep, he answered with an endearing story about his grandfather. I hope that you will take the time to visit his website www.baileyschimney.com and read it for yourselves! And take note that safety, value, integrity, and professionalism strongly represents, not only his company, but the character of Justin Bailey. Give him a call!

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