Readers of InspectionNews may remember from last year my avid praise for Dale Feb’s five day, F.I.R.E. inspector course. Well folks, add CSIA’s three day, “Diagnosis and Documentation” to your list of “must do” courses. The course is excellent, as were the three instructors, all tops in the field.

While Dale is one of the most entertaining instructors out there, Jerry Isenhour of The Chimney Doctor, Concord, N.C. is no laggard – and attendees kept strict attention or risked losing an eye to a sailing piece of candy. “So, Jim, what did you learn…” as a piece of taffy streaked towards my face. Give a half-ass answer and Jerry will just bore-in on you more, all while you are being peppered with more candy. So much for positive reinforcement!

But, Jerry’s “no nonsense” style is part and parcel of his personality and savvy business approach. We are, after all, in a high liability businesses. As such, he is a devotee of scripts, all the way from the first knock on the client’s door to the final report and storage, and his advice is equally applicable to sweeps and home inspectors. Jerry’s perspective on how to write an accurate report without resorting to scare tactics was alone worth the price of admission.

But, it only got better.

Up next was Ken Robinson (Cooperstown Chimney Sweeps), an old Tennessee hippie, who portrays the typical laid back, “I ain’t so smart” southern boy. That claim is belied by the fact that he was the one who tackled the job of explaining concepts such as draft, flow, thermal gradient, and Young’s modulus; all which help in understanding the how’s and why’s of thermal failure in vitreous clay liners. I was not the only one in the class to instantly grasp some of the concepts due to his ability.

The final part of this three-legged stool was Tom Urban of Esotoban Corp, creator and manufacturer of the Chim-Scan camera system. Besides running an excellent session on documentation, Tom also ran a special evening session for those of us interested in reviewing some Chim-scan photos. One word of advice, anyone who thinks problems are mainly in clay liners should see some of Tom’s photos of factory built chimney defects. (Plus Tom’s wife, Esther, attended, and for those of us who know, she is literally the woman behind the man – it was an added plus to have her there.)

I absolutely love good courses; they so energize you, and are so few and far between. I always leave such courses full of ideas on how to take my service to the next level, and the D&D course gave me a book full. I absolutely plan on attending the Advanced D&D given at CSIA Headquarters, in Indianapolis.

Similar Threads: