Chimney Sweep Certifications

Welcome to the website of Top Hat Chimney Service, Inc. Top Hat Chimney is owned and operated by Gene Michael and his wife Judy. Gene started this business after serving 30 years with the City of Rochester Fire Department. He retired as a battalion chief in 2007.

Since then, Gene and Judy’s goal has been to make Top Hat Chimney Service the premiere sweeping and inspection service in the Greater Rochester area. Here are some of the defining characteristics that we believe are helping to propel us to the top of our field in this area.

Demonstration: Sweeping a Fireplace

  • Gene’s career in the fire service was spent in a number of activities that give him a unique perspective when it comes to chimney sweeping and inspection. These activities included fire suppression, code enforcement, health and safety, training, fire cause and origin, and planning.
  • Gene became certified as a chimney sweep by the Chimney Safety Institute of America in 2008. Gene is only the second sweep in Monroe County to earn this accreditation. The accreditation must be renewed every three years by demonstrating competency in the field of sweeping and basic inspection. Continuing education is one of the requirements to maintain this certification. Gene earned 91 continuing education credits from 2008 to 2011.
  • Gene became certified as a fireplace/chimney inspector by the F.I.R.E. Associates of America in 2010. This is the nationally recognized gold standard for advanced inspection work. There are only about 200 people in the United States that have earned this certification. The certification is maintained by earning continuing education credits and retesting every three years.
  • Top Hat Chimney is one of the very few companies in the Rochester area that has invested in advanced video-scanning technology. Remote video camera viewing is the recognized standard for comprehensive flue inspection. It is often required for insurance claims and is becoming very popular as a component of the inspection process for home buyers.

We invite you to explore our website. You will find a wealth of information about fireplaces, wood stoves, and inserts. There is a special focus on proper chimney sweeping and inspection procedures and applications.

We do our best to help our clients become the best educated customers in the Rochester area. It is our hope that this website will help us to fulfill that aspiration.

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