A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps has been offering chimney cleaning, inspections and repairs for over 20 years. A Step in Time is currently offering free NFPA level 1 chimney inspections and $59 chimney sweeps for open fireplaces. For homeowners, we will come to your home, provide detailed inspection photos, and educate you regarding state building codes regarding the safety of your fireplace. This service is free of charge. We are so confident that you will be impressed with our professionalism, quality of service and knowledge we provide, that you will become our customer for life. Our founder, Ray Gessner is a licensed professional engineer with a masters degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University and B.S. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. A Step in Time is currently expanding nationwide and partnering with professional sweeps throughout the United States to establish business locations with owner/operators who are looking to run their own franchise.

A Step in Time has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, class A contractor’s license, workers compensation and liability insurance and great ratings on Google and Yelp. We really want to provide the best service possible. Feel free to click the chat button to the right and instantly speak with us or schedule your appointment. We can also answer many of your chimney related questions. Click the chat button and give it a try. We won’t bite:-)

About Us

Ray Gessner is the founder and C.E.O. of A Step in Time Ray has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech -91 and a masters of engineering from Old Dominion University – 98. We have a class A contractor’s license, professional engineering license in Virginia and Maryland and Ray personally trains all technicians. Ray has published national trade articles in SNEWS magazine and National Chimney Sweep Guild, Sweeping Magazine. Virginia court system has recognized Ray as an expert witness.

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We offer chimney cleaning, inspections and repairs by trained professionals

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We offer roof repairs and replacement. Hail damage and insurance claims welcome.

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Dryer vent cleaning

We offer dryer vent cleaning for residential and commercial projects.

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A Step in Time offers training to chimney professional throughout the United States by a licensed professional engineer.


Raymond Gessner


Ray Gessner, P.E. is the founder and C.E.O. of A Step in Time. He is a licensed professional engineer with master’s degree in civil engineering.


Rufus Jones is the Northern Virginia future franchisee. Rufus has been working at A Step in Time for over 10 years and is a wonderful person.

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Frances Verhofstadt is the corporate office manager and has wored in customer service her entire life. She has a wonderful personality and is Ray’s mother in law.


Jeff Hughes has known Ray for over 15 years. Jeff is currently in charge of the corporate expansion of the Greater Richmond area. Jeff is definitely an intelligent and great chimney technician. .

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I appreciate the quick response to take care of a chimney matter for my mother. Thank you David and teammate for your professionalism, expertise and knowledge of chimney inspection and repair. I especially appreciate you taking the time to send photos and speak with me. This gave me comfort since I was out of state. Again, thank you and we would definitely recommend others for chimney sweep

Vivian. Bender

No real comparison. These guys set the standard for professionalism, offer a range of chimney sweep services for more than just cleaning the chimney, and just have a wider service area than anyone else. In the future I am not calling anyone else.

Dan Elam

We had a wonderful experience with A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps. Paul and his crew, Rodney and Victor, were here and did one of the best chimney inspections for our home that we have ever had. Not only did they take care of a fireplace issue but they sealed a gas vent leading to our hot water heater which was not sealed properly. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

Sylvia Berglie