Gage said that over the decades the tools sweeps use have improved, but are essentially the same kind — fiberglass rods and brushes, and vacuum cleaners. Although cleaning a chimney from the bottom up is preferred for safety reasons, “sometimes you can’t get away from climbing up roofs,” he said.
Business has been brisk for Gage and his partners, he said.
“When there’s a need to save, people tend to burn wood even more seriously,” Gage said. “It is not a luxury. Harder times bring more people to wood burning.”
In fact, Gage expects his business to grow. “If you do a good job, you retain customers and bring on new customers,” he said.
People enjoy the atmosphere created by a wood-burning stove, he said.
“If you help them do it safely,” Gage said, “you can keep a customer for life.”