Monday, June 19, 2017

Last Chance-Register now!

Visit to register now for our best conference yet!

We couldn't do it without you!

*Copperfield Chimney Supply
Cody Gibson

David Guest

*Lindemann Chimney SupplyPete Phagan110 Albrecht DriveLake Bluff, IL  60044
(800) 722-7230
*HearthMasters Masonry SchoolIndependence, MOwww.hearthmasters.net816-461-3665
 *National Chimney Supply 

*Olympia Chimney Supply
Mike Hill

*Magazine for Blue Collar Entrepreneurs
Dave Hannah

Wood-Fired Magazine
1134 S Pearl Street
Independence, MO 64050

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

A few seats still available for the conference

Get your registration in now for he MCSC Conference June 21-24, 2017 - we are nearly at full capacity!  Check out all the conference info and register online at

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


MCSC Annual Conference
June 21-14, 2017
Independence, Missouri

The Midwest Chimney Safety Council is pleased to announce that we have added an outstanding class to the conference - OSHA Authorized Person Fall Protection Training: Learn what you need to know about fall protection per OSHA guidelines and when you are finished with this class you will have the ability to be assigned as your Authorized Person per OSHA requirements at your place of business. This training will also be important for Worker's Comp insurance. ​Instructor: Mark Damon from Ellis Fall Protection.
Here is the complete lineup of classes, classroom presentations for two days, then workshops for two days:
Over the Top Service Equals Sales: .Quality service is what everyone expects. No one needs your service or anything you sell. In today's world, it's all about me world, over the top service is how a company grows . One simple mistake and a homeowner lets the world know before you make it out of the driveway. By providing quality service second to none and going beyond expectations will put you ahead any other company. From a one person company to a multi million dollar company simple easy touches add up to easy sales. This seminar will cover the basic ways that we have found to work which have given us a complaint free history and yearly growth. Instructor:Victor Imgarten, Clean Sweep Chimney Service, Ex-President of the NCSG and CSIA.
Course #6067 Business 1, C&L 1 CEU's CSIA
Bio: Victor is a Missouri native and has been in the chimney industry for close to 40 years.He is an ex-president of the NCSG. Growing up in a home surrounded by business owners from his Grandparents and a father quality service was always a way of life. He attended Washington University and other collages as well as many years of continuing training in the field of business, sales and customer relations. He have served on all industry related boards in some capacity. Currently he still enjoys field work and the challenges of meeting new and existing costumers demands, for over the top service.Quality service is what everyone expects.
If you’re not Selling, You’re Being Outsold: with Chuck Hall (CSIA President). This class will cover methods to properly set up the sale with your client, and techniques to use during the sales process. Chuck will also discuss sales from the perspective as the owner with technicians and salespeople in his employ. Course Number 6044 C&L 1 CEU Business 1.5 CEUs from CSIA
Bio: Chuck was born in Washington, DC and graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Advertising and Communications. He sold advertising time for a DC radio station for 2 years after college. Chuck started a home service business that included a chimney service 2 years later. Today in year 28, Winston's Chimney Service specializes in fireplaces and chimneys only; both residential and commercial. The company ran 11 trucks last fall and employed 29 people. They have one technician/salesperson who sold $1 million worth of services in 2016 and another person sold just below $700 k. We grossed $3.3 million in sales last year and plan to hit $4 million in 2017. Chuck has been married for 25 years and has a 21 year old daughter and an 18 year old son.

Lessons Learned From Fire Investigations: Find out what the most common mistakes are that chimney inspectors, builders, or contractors make that have caused structural fires and learn what to look for during inspections. See actual photos of house fires and how the cause was identified. Find out what the procedures are for fire investigations. Learn what not to do when building or rebuilding a chimney, or installing hearth appliances, and what to watch out for with other tradespeople. Instructor: Marge Padgitt, Padgitt Forensic Investigations Course number 6069 C&L 1.5 CEUs from CSIA
Bio: Marge and her husband, Gene, have been married for 30 years, and have worked together in the chimney business for 32 years. Marge is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and NFI Woodburning Specialist and trainer. Marge wrote the book The Chimney and Hearth Pro's Resource Book and the CD Presentation set Presentations for Chimney Professionals. has two more books and instructional films in the works. She has served on the board of directors for the National Chimney Sweep Guild, Masonry Heater Association of North America, the Midwest HPBA, and the Midwest Chimney Safety Council. She is a founding member of the MCSC.

Introduction to Masonry Heaters: Find out what masonry heaters are, how they work, and how to do maintenance on heaters.These are special appliances that are completely different than any other type of wood-burning heating appliance. Instructor: Gary Hart, Certified Heater Mason, Aaron’s Ltd Course number 6071 Technical 1.5 CEU's CSIA
Bio: Gary began a chimney sweeping business in 1979 and has since become a mason, masonry heater builder, and wood/gas stove store owner. While pursuing a living in the solid fuel industry for 35 years, Gary received certifications through ISO and WHERF, Certification #1348 through CSIA/NCSG and Certification #10 through the Masonry Heater Association.In the early 1990s, Gary was involved with developing a description of Masonry Heaters for submission to the ASTM standards and helped review a certification Program for Masonry Heater Builders. He was involved with developing an advanced certification for chimney sweeps through the CSIA/NCSG.As a Certified Masonry Heater Builder, he has built masonry heaters in New Hampshire, Vermont, North Carolina, Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri and Japan. He currently holds the distinction of being the 1st Platinum Member with the Masonry Heater Association of North America.
The Labor Problem, Recruiting and Retaining Great People: Instructor: Jake Cromwell, Top Hat Chimney & Roofing
​How to Apply Stucco and Plaster: These skills are needed when doing masonry or manufactured chimney restoration. Students will prep walls, install wire mesh, install a scratch coat and final coat of stucco, and learn how to plaster interior walls. Get practice using these methods hands-on. Bring your masonry tools. Instructor: Gene Padgitt, HearthMasters Masonry School.
​ 4 Elective CEU's from NFI Course number 6063 Technical 4 CEUs from CSIA
​Bio: Gene has worked in the chimney industry for 35 years. He is an award-winning master mason, CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep, NFI Certified Gas Specialist, Licensed Mechanical Contractor, Certified Heater Mason, State Certified Fire Investigator, and has a degree in HVACR.Technology. Gene has taught numerous classes in the industry. Gene is an expert mason so you'll be learning from one of the best.
How to Build Chase Tops: Learn how to use a break to form a perfect chase top and flashing on the job to save time and money. These skills will improve your bottom line! Instructors: Michael Matthews and David Steward
How to Build a Cricket: Hands-on practice building a chimney cricket. A "must know" for chimney contractors. Crickets are required for all chimneys measuring 30" wide and are built on the back side of the chimney on the high side of the roof. In the field, crickets are often too short or missing altogether. This can cause rain water to destroy masonry and wood on the back side of the chimney and cause leaking on the interior of the home. If you're going to be a "We Fix Leaky Chimneys" company, this class is a "must do." Instructor:Gregg Boss, English Sweep. Greg is the Region 4 Director for the National Chimney Sweep Guild.
​​Chimney Sweeping Methods and Equipment: Learn how to sweep a chimney to remove creosote, find out what different types of equipment are available, and watch a chimney inspection using the Chim Scan camera system. Janie Rickord, Alpine Chimney Service and Tom Urban with Estoban Corp. and Chim-Scan
Creating a Thorough Inspection Program: Instructor, Tom Urban, Estoban Corporation. Class #6078 Codes and Standards .75, C&L .75 from CSIA
Chimney Diagnosis and Documentation: An in-depth class with Tom Urban, Estoban Corporation. Tom is the inventor of the Chim-Scan camera system. 
OSHA Authorized Person Fall Protection Training: Be OSHA Compliant and learn all about fall protection methods! This is a four -hour class with CEUs!
CEUs pending for several classes but we are attempting to get CEUs from CSIA, NFI,
and MHA for all classes. 
And be sure to visit vendor tables the first two days!
And some FUN events:
Wednesday Night: Join us for outdoor Barbecue for dinner!
​Thursday Night: Bowling and Bililards Night at Diamond Bowl! Come join us for some fun and comradarie!
Saturday Night Pizza party and Auction! 
Don’t miss great deals at the auction and fantastic pizza (included in your registration fee) Please bring a donation to the auction - even if it isn't chimney related! With our REAL auctioneer - Steve Hoover!

Please contact Marge at 816-461-3665 or
THANK YOU to Olympia Chimney Supply for sponsoring our Pizza party on Saturday night and donating a liner kit!
THANK YOU to Copperfield Chimney Supply for donating a liner kit!

Thanks to HearthMasters for sponsoring the barbecue!
MORE sponsor donations coming!

VISIT Midwest Chimney Safety Council FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER

Marge Padgitt
President, Midwest Chimney Safety Council
PO Box 1166, Independence, MO 64051
Ph 816-461-3665 Fax 816-461-2818

Sunday, October 9, 2016

October 9 through 15 is National Fire Prevention Week

National Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association, was created in order to reduce fires. The Midwest Chimney Safety Council suggests fire prevention by promoting the sweeping and inspection of chimneys.

Chimney fire leads to house fire. Photo
The Midwest Chimney Safety Council advises homeowners and building owners to have chimneys inspected by a professional chimney sweep on a regular basis- at least once per year as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. Professional chimney sweeps have the proper equipment to view the interior of chimneys in order to see potential hazards such as missing mortar joints, broken flue tiles, or large gaps which can allow toxic flue gasses and heat to escape into the home.

Professional chimney sweeps are trained to identify problems that the layman may miss.
Chimney sweeps also remove flammable creosote, debris, nests, leaves, and twigs from flues serving furnaces, water heaters, boilers, fireplaces, and gas and wood-burning heating appliances.

The history of chimney sweeps began before Roman times when people started to build fireplaces inside their homes for heating and cooking. Prior to the invention of the chimney the soot and smoke just vented out open windows, but chimneys solved that problem. 

The chimney sweeping trade died down after gas and electricity were introduced. However, during the oil crisis in the 1970’s homeowners wanted an alternative method of heating, and wood stoves were introduced in answer to the demand. As a result, the number of chimney fires increased and people became aware that their chimneys needed to be serviced by a professional. Chimney sweeps were once again needed across the country, and the trade revived.

Today professional chimney sweeps get their training and Certification at the Chimney Safety Institute of America, located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and get continuing education classes at the CSIA, Midwest Chimney Safety Council, and other related organizations. They use state-of-the art chimney camera equipment for inspections.

Some jurisdictions require chimney sweeps to be CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps, or licensed in another manner.
A list of qualified professional chimney sweeps is posted at the Midwest Chimney Safety Council website at

Contact: Marge Padgitt, President of the MCSC at 816-461-3665 or for more information.

Buyer beware always have chimneys inspected by a professional chimney sweep

The Midwest Chimney Safety Council recommends an inspection of all chimneys and flues at the time of purchase of a home by a professional chimney sweep.  Home buyers may be in for a big surprise and major expense if they don’t have an inspection completed prior to closing of the sale.
Home inspectors do not inspect the interior or exterior chimney as a normal part of a home inspection. Most home inspectors do not have the necessary equipment or training to do chimney inspections, therefore, it is wise to have a professional do the job.

Unfortunately, many home buyers have found out after the sale that their chimney or fireplace is unusable. A typical inspection of a masonry chimney will reveal that the interior flue has missing mortar joints due to exposure to rain, moisture and acidic flue gasses. The older the home, the more likely there are problems.

In many cases, the seller has had a chimney fire without knowing it, and the interior clay tile flue liner is cracked and broken. Other typical findings are damaged smoke chambers, rusted dampers, missing chimney covers, poor flashing, and damaged cement crowns. Issues at the top of the chimney can’t be viewed without using a ladder, or in some cases, scaffold. Home inspectors don’t normally climb ladders or own scaffold.

The average chimney repair job runs into thousands of dollars. In the greater Kansas City area, the average relining job which involves removal of the damaged liner, scaffolding, and installation of a new flue liner costs between $8,000 to $18,000.  In a recent case, an inspection of five chimneys and eight fireplaces in one home revealed $50,000 in damages.

In a 2012 transaction in Kansas City Missouri, the seller had a chimney flue relined with a new flue liner but the installer put a liner in that was too small. Months later, when the new owner started a fire in the fireplace it smoked badly and caused smoke damage to the entire home. An inspection by a professional chimney sweep revealed that the liner installed was too small for the chimney to draft properly. Because the contract was with the previous owner, the new owner had no recourse and had to pay $14,000 to have the steel liner extracted, then the old tile liner extracted, and a new properly sized flue liner installed. Flue sizing is extremely important to the operation of the appliance and if not done correctly can cause major problems such as smoking, odors, and Carbon Monoxide back up.
If damages are found prior to closing the buyer will know exactly what condition the chimney and fireplaces are in and how to proceed with the negotiation. If damages are due to a chimney fire the seller’s insurance will cover the damages, however, it is wise for the buyer to choose the company who will do the work because sellers usually want to go the least expensive route and often hire unqualified chimney companies to do the work.

Camera inspection in progress. Photo: Hearthmasters, Inc.
A typical Level II inspection with an internal chimney camera involves running the camera through the damper and into the smoke chamber, then the flue. This type of inspection can reveal damages to masonry, mortar joints and flue tiles that can’t be seen using the naked eye and a mirror. A professional chimney sweep who has been trained in this type of inspection will be able to identify potential hazards, fire risks, and Carbon Monoxide risks.

The MCSC recommends that all flues be inspected including fireplace flues, furnace and boiler flues, and chimneys serving wood and gas stoves and inserts. If a chimney flue has an accumulation of creosote, the creosote must be removed so that the inspector can see the flue liner. Creosote is very flammable and should be removed by a qualified chimney sweep.

Visit or for more information or to find a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep.  
Marge Padgitt is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and NFI Certified Wood-burning Specialist. She is the CEO of HearthMasters, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri. Reach her at 

Cut utility bills by using wood-heating appliances

A great way to cut utility bills during cold weather is to use a wood-fired heating appliance such as a masonry heater, wood-burning stove, or wood-burning fireplace insert. 

Today’s modern wood-burning heating appliances are very efficient and clean-burning, unlike their older predecessors. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates wood stove emissions and has strict requirements that stove manufacturers must follow. This is why replacing an older, dirty burning wood stove with a new high-efficiency model is good not only for the environment, but less wood is needed to produce the same amount of heat.

Fuel costs can be significantly less than oil, gas, or electric heating appliances, especially if there is a nearby supply of inexpensive cordwood. For homeowners with their own land and trees, the concept of no cost for fuel other than physical exertion is very attractive. For those wanting to live off-grid, have an emergency heating alternative, or just lower fuel costs, the addition of a wood-burning appliance is a good solution.

Masonry heaters are arguably the best type of wood-burning appliance. They use old-world technology which is a series of channels installed inside the appliance that trap heat, then transfer the heat slowly through the mass of masonry. Masonry heaters are large and need to be centrally located for maximum benefit. The Masonry Heater Association of North America has more information on these efficient site-built appliances.

Fireplace inserts are appliances that are installed inside an existing masonry fireplace. They use a small stainless steel flue liner and can be used either with or without a blower. By installing a new efficient wood-burning fireplace insert the fireplace efficiency will be increased by approximately 75%.

For more information on fuel cost calculators visit
Marge Padgitt is a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep and NFI Certified Woodburning Specialist and trainer. She is the CEO of HearthMasters, Inc. in Independence, Missouri.