Only 12 people across the entire country can match Chuck Roydhouse’s knowledge of chimneys. That’s because he is one of just 13 certified Master Chimney Sweeps in the United States. This expertise, along with that of Roydhouse’s highly trained and certified technicians, is exactly what propels Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County to be the successful, well-rounded and caring company that it is today.
Founded in 1978 by Bill Stinchcom as a one-truck, part-time operation, the business was sold to Roydhouse in 1991. Roydhouse noted that he purchased the business because it was “very similar to a landscaping company” that he had been running since 1980, but Clean Sweep Anne Arundel gave him the opportunity to own and build a business that “wasn’t tied so closely to [his] name.”
Within years, Roydhouse completely changed the face and focus of the business. “We built it up to a four-truck operation,” he said. “Now we have nine full-time employees, with seven to eight guys in the field, a couple people in the office and we run six days a week Monday through Saturday.”
Increasing his workforce was a big achievement, but, with increased manpower, Roydhouse wanted to expand the scope of the business as well. “[Clean Sweep Anne Arundel] was primarily focused on chimney sweepings, and then I fine-tuned it into a lot of technical inspections and chimney repairs,” Roydhouse said.
Clean Sweep Anne Arundel now offers myriad services. From simple inspections and sweeping to full-service repairs and water-repellant coatings, Roydhouse has ensured that Clean Sweep Anne Arundel is able to service every aspect of a home’s chimney and dryer vent as well.
“Our tagline is ‘We make chimneys healthy,’ so our mission is basically to help clients find solutions to whatever their chimney problems are,” Chuck said.
While fixing problems in the moment is Clean Sweep Anne Arundel’s specialty, Roydhouse often stresses the importance of preventative maintenance.
“Our mission is to drive home that preventative maintenance is the best way to go; it saves you money,” Roydhouse said, drawing a comparison to getting an oil change every 3,000 miles. “If you have [your chimney] swept and inspected on a yearly basis – if something is going on, you can catch it when it’s a really inexpensive repair.”
Roydhouse has made it his mission to inform homeowners about the importance of regular chimney care not because it’s his business, but because it can mean the difference between a healthy home and a fire hazard ready to ignite. “I don’t want to downplay the safety, but I don’t want to come off as being ‘the scare guy,’” Roydhouse admitted.
But his care for others extends well past the realm of his business. Roydhouse, on behalf of Clean Sweep Anne Arundel, has sponsored the Shop Local Festival as well as the Severna Park Independence Day Parade — which happens to be Roydhouse’s favorite holiday — in years past. Roydhouse also contributes to causes even more near and dear to his heart. He supports the Anne Arundel County Professional Firefighters Burn Foundation, which benefits youth affected by burns, as well as Sweep Away Cancer, a blossoming and cancer-fighting nonprofit sponsored by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
“Our business cares about the community,” Roydhouse said. “We’re involved and we’re not just here to provide a service that people need. We want to show that we care on a different level, and we have to give a value to [the community].”
Roydhouse believes that, due to trends in energy and regulation, wood burning will soon become a thing of the past, and his customers will find new ways to enjoy homemade heat. He ensured that Clean Sweep Anne Arundel will keep up with the times, and keep operating in the area Roydhouse and his technician call home.
“The people here are very, very nice. And it’s just nice to deal in your hometown. That’s what makes us comfortable,” he said.
Clean Sweep of Anne Arundel County provides chimney and dryer vent services to all of Anne Arundel County. For more information, visit www.cleansweepaa.com or call 410-590-4800.