Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Whitehouse Chimney Sweep, Jeff Schmittinger

Those who think the life of a chimney sweep is mundane and thankless have not met Jeff Schmittinger, official White House chimney sweep.

A Job that Would Make Mary Poppins Proud

For the past 19 years, Jeff Schmittinger has served as the official White House chimney sweep. After hearing one of President Clinton’s addresses to Congress regarding the state of the federal deficit, Schmittinger became determined to do his part to help America save money. According to an article by Business Week, “he [Schmittinger] called the White House and offered to clean the 35 chimneys at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for free”. On his first visit, Schmittinger discovered that the White House chimneys were in such bad shape that he had to bring two full vacuums to clean up the residue from his sweep.

Business Outside of Whitehouse Chimney Sweeping

While his White House pro bono job has not brought in the flood of new customers that one might expect, Schmittinger notes that the Chimney Sweeping industry is recession proof. According to the article, “With energy costs rising every year, a fireplace seems an especially good investment. And hiring somebody to scrape away the creosote that builds up on a chimney wall, which causes most chimney fires, is a small price to pay for the savings in heating”.

The Life of a Modern Chimney Sweep

If you think the White House project is the only exciting part of Schmittinger’s work life, think again. In the article, Schmittinger notes that he is constantly followed by the “chimney sweep stereotype” and admits to keeping “a full chimney sweep costume in his trunk”. He also serves as the official mascot at the German Fest in Milwaukee and mentions how, “In the German culture, a chimney sweep is about two steps below God”. He is even frequently asked to attend weddings due to the urban legend that seeing a chimney sweep on one’s wedding day is a sign of good luck.

About Powers Chimney and Masonry

Feeling inspired to have a chimney cleaning for your own chimney? Trust Powers Chimney and Masonry. We may not be the chimney sweep at the white house, but we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and a member of the National chimney Sweep Guild and the NFPA. Contact us today for a free estimate or to learn more about our chimney and masonry services.

1 comment:

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