January 29, 2013
Has business slowed down for you? Typically, things slow down in our Chicago Service company during the month of February. We schedule work for then but have contingency plans in place just in case.
Chicago winters are notorious for snow, biting cold, winds and ice. We get out and work in most of this weather. When we absolutely can't be on the roof, we use that day to call our customers on bids, visit customers to discuss bids, go door to door and tie up loose ends. How prepared are you? Can you change directions on a dime? If not, then it's time to develop your contingency plans.
Make sure your employees know what to expect. For example, if they can't get out and work on the roof, they can still earn money by coming into work. There will always be something for them to do. And, they will be expected to be at work unless road conditions would endanger their lives.
Have a plan
Are you prepared for loss of electricity? A few years ago we had a storm that knocked out power in our warehouse. Our phones wouldn't work. We were able to switch the phones to ring into an employee's home that had power. We have also had similar situations with loss of our telephones.
Have a solution
Do you have a back-up generator? This could run the fan on the furnace and power the phones if needed. Maybe you need two generators. You can bet that the chances of finding a generator in a power outage are slim to none. Prepare your solution ahead of time.
Business is slow
Plant the seeds for future business. Follow up on bids. Revisit old bids. Call customers who haven't used your services this year and schedule them. Go door to door (we do). Reorganize so when you do roll again things will be more efficient. Take time to network with other businesses in the area such as realtors, insurance companies, masons (who don't like small jobs), roofers and other service companies. Do you offer dryer vent cleaning? Stop by Laundromats, beauty parlors, barber shops, restaurants, and automotive shops – in short – any business that washes towels, dust/dirt rags or clothes.
Invite your employees to help plan. They may come up with some creative original ideas. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail".
January 28, 2013
The Virginia Association of Chimney and Hearth Professionals is providing a Chimney Safety Institute of America's C-DET Review and Exam as well as Health and Safety Seminars in Alexandria, VA on February 7th and 8th.
Don't miss this opportunity on the 7th to upgrade you or your employee's education with the CSIA's C-DET Review and Exam. There are very few opportunities to add on a significant offering to your business with such a low educational investment. The cost is only $199 for the review, $169 for the test and $75 for the manual (NCSG Member prices) making it $443 total. To register for this C-DET Review and Exam, click here.
On the 8th Hope Stevenson is teaching a Health & Safety Seminar worth 6 CEU's. This class is priceless in value if you or your employees are saved from being injured. The price is $99 for non-VACHP Members and $89 for members. Click here for the registration form.
If you aren't a member of the VACHP, then consider joining online by clicking here ($50 to join). They will be offering 2-3 educational workshops every year with the goal of helping our members accrue the CEU's necessary to maintain their CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep Credentials.
This two-day event will be held at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center on 5000 Seminary Road in Alexandria, Virginia, 22311. To call for reservations you can reach them at 703-845-1010. Mention VACHP & CSIA when booking your room to get the discounted room rate of $179. The parking fee is waived for registrants of CSIA's C-DET.
January 28, 2013
Are you selling and installing Enervex Chimney Fans (formerly Exhausto Chimney Fans)? Enervex Fans solve smoking fireplace and poorly drafting chimney problems. Chimney Sweeps who sell and install them become fans. Their customer’s love them because that worthless smoking fireplace (or appliance) has now become one of the most valued and important feature in the home.
If you are a chimney sweep who installs chimney caps, then an Enervex Fan isn't much more complicated as long as you have the tools and know what to look for. Installing an Enervex Fan isn't as difficult as you might think. The chimney sweep typically installs the fan and then the homeowner’s electrician is responsible for running the connection from the junction box (prewired to the fan) down into the home.
Before installation, it must be determined that the chimney can carry the weight of the fan: RS 9=29 lbs.; RS 12=37 lbs.; RS14=47 lbs. and the RS16=61lbs.
For masonry chimneys, Enervex specifies that the clay flue tile must be cut even with the crown. This is because the fan actually sits on a fiber mat that’s sandwiched between the fan and the crown. The mat minimizes movement and vibrations. This also ensures that the tile won’t interfere with the blades of the fan and that the fan will be on a stable base. A whole must be cut in the mat to match the inside of the existing chimney flue.
Adjustable legs that are attached to the fan base slips down into the flue to keep the fan from blowing sideways and tipping. Use care not to have the legs touch the inner flue – this can cause noise and other potential problems.
A cable that is attached to the fan must be attached to the chimney. This cable is supposed to anchor the fan to the chimney in case it is picked up and tossed in the event of a natural event.
Since there can be variations in fan installation situations, it’s best to consult the fan installation instructions before installing the fan. For solid fuels, click here. For gas and oil applications, click here. There may also be other adapters or parts that are required for your particular installation.
All in all, the Enervex installation must be done in accordance with any local code requirement. If you have any questions on Enervex Fan installations please feel free to contact us.
November 16, 2012
Did you know that the Chinese symbol for crisis is the same as for opportunity? If something happens in your chimney sweep or hearth business try to look for opportunity in the situation.
Your lead chimney sweep quits without notice. Crisis or opportunity? At first it is a crisis but only because there is no solution. In the process of coming up with the best solution many things happen: You may be reintroduced to the field; Another chimney sweep moves into the position who proves to be even better than the lead chimney sweep; You know you have to have a contingency plan in place and perhaps you start to understand the frustration that led to the lead chimney sweeps departure. As you seek the solution these many things start to make the whole picture more visible to you.
It’s 5:00 on a Friday night and your new chimney sweep dusts a customer’s house. It just so happens this customer works for the local newspaper and writes editorial columns. Crisis or opportunity? At first it seems like a crisis: 5:00 on a Friday night – who will you get to clean it?; White carpet and a light colored brick fireplace facing; A person who has the capability to blast your company for miles around. Your new chimney sweep, who shows a lot of promise, is expecting a major chewing out and is ready to quit. To treat this as an opportunity you need to look for ways to put a positive spin on it. Get the best cleaning company out to clean his home, leaving it cleaner than before the dusting. Talk to the homeowner about why it’s so important to have a professional clean the chimney instead of trying to treat it as a “do-it-yourself” project (in which this happens a great majority of the time). In this case, if a professional messes up, your house can get TLC treatment. Explain why this is a fluke and show them the pricey chimney cleaning equipment that you use to sweep the chimney. Show this new sweep how to turn lemons into lemonade. Reinforce to the new chimney sweep that this can and does happen, rarely, but even to experienced sweeps. This is your chance to show this employee how you stand behind him and reinforces his loyalty to you.
These are just a couple of examples of how you can turn a crisis into an opportunity. It all depends on how you look at it. This may mean taking a short walk away from the office. It might mean getting in your car, driving to a remote area where no one can hear what you really want to say about the situation. Often, the best option is to “step away” from the situation and think of what you would tell your best friend if the same situation happened to them. Whatever it takes, handle it coolly and with confidence and it becomes an opportunity.
September 05, 2012
Here at Lindemann Chimney Supply we understand how hard it is to compete for business. One of the latest products on the market is an imported chimney cap. We now have a quality product made in the USA to compete with these caps. It's HY-C's new ShelterPRO Stainless Steel Single-Flue Chimney Cap.
HY-C has been making high-quality chimney caps for decades. The new ShelterPRO Cap is their answer for sweeps having to compete with low-ball cap pricing without sacraficing quality. It's manufactured from 304 stainless steel and features a 16-gauge base, 18-gauge screen (7" high) and a 24-gauge lid. In addition, the ShelterPRO attaches to the tile corners in the same manner as the HY-C Draft King Caps. This cap requires no assembly and features a limited lifetime warranty.
ShelterPro Caps are available in the following sizes:
||9" X 9" ShelterPro
||9" X 13" ShelterPro
||9" X 18" ShelterPro
||13" X 13" ShelterPro
||13" X 18" ShelterPro
||18" X 18" ShelterPro
||Slip-In Leg Kit
November 21, 2011
Lindemann Chimney Supply wants to provide you with information upcoming chimney sweep and hearth industry events. There is an upcoming semiar hosted and sponsored by the North Carolina Chimney Sweep Association and the South Carolina Chimney Sweep Guild. It's called Transform Your Business DNA -- East Coast Summit, and the presenters are Tom Urban and Jerry Isenhour. Here is a bio about Jerry Isenhour.
Jerry E. Isenhour Sr. is a recognized expert in the field of chimney sweep service, chimney repair service, solid fuel installations, industry standard of care and other facets involved with the proper and improper operation of a chimney service company, hearth product retail sales, and hearth product installation company.
Mr. Isenhour has served as the CEO of several companies involved in the industry; these have ranged from a chimney service company, to hearth retailer, and also with the manufacture of products. The companies he has served as CEO of have included:
- The Chimney Doctor Inc 1982 – 2010
- The Fire Place Patio & Grill 1982 – 2010
- Islands By Design 2006 – 2010
In 2010 he founded a consulting company, Chimney and Venting Consultants, to offer the industry his service as an educator and consultant, and also as a service to the legal and insurance industries as an expert in his fields. The service to the legal profession has been ongoing as a service he has provided for a number of years while involved as the CEO of The Chimney Doctor Inc. This includes training conducted at his independent training facility located in Concord NC.
He has been a member of the faculty to offer instruction at the Chimney Safety Institute of America training center in Indianapolis Indiana presenting programs on documentation and standard of care. These training endeavors have been directed to field technicians, office staff and company management.
There has been a tremendous industry involvement over the 30 year career service to many trade associations, this has also involved the time spent in Europe in regards the education of the European chimney service industry. During the industry association and educational foundation work he has been instrumental in the development of the NFPA 211 chimney inspection standards and also in the development of the industry standards involving the standard of care.
Service is also provided for architects and builders in regards analysis of field issues and the preparation of solutions from air quality issues, performance issues, and the review of plans and on site supervision of construction and installation involving sold fuel systems and their allied venting systems. He is also commonly consulted as a source for field failure of venting systems for consumers, insurance companies, and others.
During the 30-year career he has become a source for many news and magazine articles on various subject for which he holds expertise.
Jerry Isenhour beings to you a person who has knowledge of codes and standards, however he also brings a wealth of knowledge as to how this translates to design, construction, and problem analysis in the real world. Additionally he is recognized as the one of the leading educators of the industry and that others seldom challenge his opinions offering you the ability to work your case in the most efficient manner for your client.
Jerry Isenhour continues to educate and serve the industry daily through speaking engagements, technical assistance, consulting, and coaching, With him as your support person you will have a resource who is well respected throughout the industry by his peers and who's opinions are well founded, based on fact and not conjecture or unfounded logic.
INDUSTRY OFFICES HELD OVER CAREER:
- PRESIDENT N.C. CHIMNEY SWEEP ASSOCIATION - 3 ONE-YEAR TERMS
- VICE-PRESIDENT N.C. CHIMNEY SWEEP ASSOCIATION - 3 ONE-YEAR TERMS
- VICE-PRESIDENT NATIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP GUILD - 2 ONE-YEAR TERMS
- VICE-PRESIDENT CHIMNEY SAFETY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA - 2 ONE-YEAR TERMS
- BOARD MEMBER, HEARTH PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION – 2-YEAR TERM
- NCCSA STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO NCSG - 3 ONE YEAR TERMS
- TECHNICAL ADVISOR TO FIRESIDE DISTRIBUTORS - 23 YEARS
- PRESIDENT SOUTHEASTERN HEARTH PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION - 2 YEAR TERM
- BOARD MEMBER, S.E. HEARTH PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION - 3 YEAR TERM
- PRESIDENT 1994 – 1997 2000 - 2004 NATIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP GUILD
- PRESIDENT 1994 - 1997 2000 – 2004 CHIMNEY SAFETY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS, NATIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP GUILD 1991 – 200
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS, CHIMNEY SAFETY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA 1991-2004
- BOARD OF GOVERNORS NATIONAL FIREPLACE INSTITUTE NFI 2001 - 2004
WRITER FOR VARIOUS TRADE PUBLICATIONS:
- AUTHOR OF CHIMNEY SAFETY INSTITUTE OF AMERICAS TECHNICAL PAPER:
- CHIMNEY FIRES: CAUSES, EFFECTS, & EVALUATIONS
- AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS CSIA HOMEOWNER BROCHURES
- AUTHOR IN VARIOUS TRADE PUBLICATIONS
SPEAKER AT FOLLOWING SEMINARS:
- N.C. CHIMNEY SWEEP ASSOCIATION
- AUGUST WEST SEMINARS
- NATIONAL CHIMNEY SWEEP GUILD CONVENTION
- AHRENS ANNUAL DEALER MEETING
- HEARTH PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION
- NORTHEAST REGIONAL CHIMNEY SERVICE CONVENTION
- MIDWEST REGIONAL CHIMNEY SERVICE CONVENTION
- CAROLINA CHAPTER, AMERICAN SOCIETY HOME INSPECTORS
- SOUTHEASTERN CHIMNEY SERVICE CONVENTION
- SOUTHEASTER HEARTH, PATIO & BBQ ASSOCIATION
- SANDHILL MARKETING
- CALIFORNIA CHIMNEY SERVICE CONVENTION
- CHIMNEY SAFETY INSTITUTE OF AMERICA CONTINUING EDUCATION
- VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF LABOR CODE COLLEGE
- MECLENBURG CHAPTER, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HOME INSPECTORS
- NATIONAL FIREPLACE INSTITUTE
- S.C. CHIMNEY SWEEP GUILD
- LEAD INSTRUCTOR / CSIA DIAGNOSIS AND DOCUMENTATION SEMINAR
- PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR 1988 NCCSA
- PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR 1991 NCCSA
- PRESIDENT'S AWARD FOR 1998 NCSG
- PAST PRESIDENT'S PRESIDENT'S AWARD 2003 NCSG ONLY RECIPIENT IN HISTORY
- AHRENS NEW DEALER OF YEAR FOR 1989
- AHRENS TOP 10 DEALERS OF YEAR FOR OVER 15 YEARS
- AHRENS EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION OVER 15 YEARS
- LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2010 NCSG / 2ND RECIPIENT IN HISTORY
November 20, 2011
At Lindemann Chimney Supply we provide you with as much information as we can on upcoming chimney sweep and hearth industry events. In the upcoming seminar, Transform your Business DNA -- East Coast Summit, the presenters are Tom Urban and Jerry Isenhour. This seminar is is hosted and sponsored by the North Carolina Chimney Sweep Association and the South Carolina Chimney Sweep Guild. Here is some information about Tom Urban.
Tom is the founder and president of Estoban Corporation and has been working in the Chimney/heating industry for 28 years. His full time commitment is to provide the best equipment possible to photo document places where your head can't fit i.e. Chimney, duct work, etc. Tom is a nationally known speaker on a variety of subjects.
Tom owned and operated Urban's Chimney Sweep and Supply Company in Northeast Pennsylvania for 1978-1984. He introduced the relining of masonry chimneys with stainless steel liner and the use of ceramic blanket to wrap around the liner to prevent heat loss, which is now a industry standard. He also developed a method to ovalize the stainless steel pipe to be installed into rectangular chimney flues, which is also used to day.
He researched and developed the use of closed circuit cameras inside confined spaces such as chimney and heating/cooling ducts in buildings. This research led to the integration of cameras for use in other fields, such as agriculture, municipalities, utility companies, biologists, and engineering firms. In 1984 Tom stared Estoban Corporation and registered the trademark of its main product the Chim-Scan.
Tom designs and provides training seminars on chimney relining, oil burner technology, chimney section procedures, photo documentation and interpretation training and seminars on computer generated reports. Tom has been a teacher at the CSIA in Indianapolis, IN since it's opening in 2000. He teaches as a part of a team of four on diagnosis and documentation procedures to sweeps, engineers, and home inspectors. The 3 to 5 day course is also taken on the road twice a year. Tom developed a multi-media course that includes Power-Point presentations and hands-on study.
He has been a speaker at regional and national conventions in the chimney industry as well as heating and fireplace industries consecutively for 20 years. He was one of the founding directors of the Pennsylvania State Chimney Sweep Guild in 1982. In 1989 Tom was part of the first team of chimney professionals to document the conditions of all the fireplaces in the White House in Washington D.C. Estoban Corporation provided all the documentation equipment and Tom personally supervised the scanning and documentation of the chimneys
Tom has participated as an expert witness in numerous court cases. He worked with ABC 20/20 when they did a investigative report on carbon monoxide poisoning case in N.J. In 1998 he authored a four page report on carbon monoxide titled "Close Encounters with CO" that was printed and sold through the N.C.S.G. He provided equipment and setup for three episodes of "This Old House" on PBS, he even got to do a 4 min vinette called "Insider's Look at Your Chimney" (go to http://www.chimscan.net and click on educational videos to see it).
He is a professional member of the following organizations: National Chimney Sweep Guild (N.C.S.G) since 1979 and CSIA Certified Sweep # 210. Tom received the C.S.I.A's education Award in 2004 and the N.C.S.G. Presidents Award in 2009.
September 01, 2011
At LIndemann Chimney Supply we love to pass along ways to grow your business. Credibility and education are a very important part of success for any business entity. In our industry, HEARTH, the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the Chimney Safety Institute of America are the primary educators and code lobbyist. We feel it's a necessity to be a member of the NCSG, certified by the CSIA and depending on the services you offer, the HEARTH Programs.
Our service company, Lindemann Chimney Service, has been a member of the NCSG going back decades. We feel it's so important to have our sweeps certified that we send them to the CSIA Tech center for their certification and back for ongoing training. Some sweeps are also HEARTH Certified in various venues for installation purposes.
Mike Ruehrdanz of Lindemann Chimney Service
Now the CSIA has more than ever before to offer: Certified Chimney Sweep; Certified Dryer Vent Exhaust Technician; Chimney Physics; Inspection and Report Writing; National Chimney Sweep Training School; Lining Masonry Chimneys with Stainless Steel; Health and Safety Week and more. Can't make it to the tech center for a class? No worries. Many courses are now online.
In addition to many of the membership benefits, the CSIA has recently put out two press releases letting the world know that chimneys need to be inspected after earthquakes and in light of the recent hurricane Irene, after natural disasters such as this.
If you aren't supporting the NCSG and CSIA then you aren't supporting your future. They drive more education, codes and promote our industry more than many other groups put together. So invest in your future. Join the NCSG and get certified with the CSIA today!