The Story of McDowell’s Complete Chimney Service, Inc.
McDowell’s was established in 1978, by Wayne McDowell, a Baltimore City fire officer. After reading an article in Mother Earth News and buying an older house and sweeping his own chimney, Wayne hit upon the idea. His neighbors had seen him and his makeshift tools up on the roof and wondered what their new neighbor was doing. When he told then he was sweeping his chimney, they wanted theirs done as well.
With help from many other firefighters through the years, Wayne has built a business based on customer satisfaction. Because of his background in fire safety, Wayne makes a continual effort to keep his neighbors out of harm’s way. Starting from scratch, with a 40 foot ladder and an orange ’74 Vega, Wayne now manages a fleet of trucks. His crews are C.S.I.A. Trained Technicians that clean fireplace flues; wood, insert, and freestanding stoves; oil & gas furnace flues; as well as cleaning dryer vents, air duct systems, and gutters. They rebuild and reline chimneys damaged by fire, lightning, age, and environmental problems. Because our expertise, McDowell’s is often called upon by contractors, insurance and real estate companies, and historic home owners to document chimney problems caused by fire or neglect. Wayne has expanded the business to sell all of the accessories needed for safe fire burning, including chimney caps, stoves, doors, tools, and more.
Keeping the business local has kept Wayne in business. He is well known in the Catonsville and Arbutus communities, and enjoys being a leader and volunteer. He is an active member of the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, the Arbutus Business and Professional Association, the Professional Business Builders Association, and active with the local high schools, Cardinal Gibbons and Mount de Sales Academy . As a graduate of Cardinal Gibbons (’67), Wayne takes pride in his involvement in the Alumni Association and other activities.
Wayne is a certified member of the Chimney Safety Institute of America, National Chimney Sweep Guild, National Fireplace Institute, and is licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.