A WELL-EDUCATED CHIMNEYSWEEP
Micah Ables has a company in Harker Heights called Ables Top Hat Home Services. He cleans chimneys. He bought the business from his dad, Doug Ables.
“When my dad said he was going into the chimney sweeping business I thought who in their right mind thinks that chimney sweeping can be a fulltime job especially in Texas. I thought the idea was goofy, but luckily he didn’t listen to me and it has turned into kind of an institution here in Central Texas. I started doing this with him when I was eight years old so I grew up working for him. I went off to college, joined the Army and did some other stuff. When I would come back on weekends or on leave or something I’d help him out for a few days. Then I bought the business from him last year.”
He says equipment to clean chimneys has improved over the years.
“There is a big change from how my dad and I used to do it when I was growing up. We used to stand on top of the chimney and use some big heavy brushes with long handles and scrub up and down. It was very physical and was not a very pleasant task. Now we do it all from below by rotary power sweeping.”
Micah has customers that call him every year. He can clean a chimney in record time.
“Hopefully about 45 minutes. Some of the dirty ones can take up to an hour and a half.”
Once a squirrel fell into a chimney and got caught in the chimney damper.
“I don’t know if it was the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the squirrel world or what, but it ended up kicking out one of the bricks that was probably three times his size. The brick was in the front of the fireplace and when he got it out, he made a run for the front door.”
Micah has an impressive education.
“I studied mathematics for my associate degree, then for my Bachelor’s degree I studied Russian and Ukrainian politics. Then I got my Masters in Government Diplomacy and Conflict Studies. I spent four years at West Point then did a little more than eight years as a commissioned officer in the Army. I absolutely loved the military and am really thankful for the experiences I had there and the opportunities that I had, but it’s really hard on family life. With two young kids of my own I wanted to be there for them. I’ll be glad when I’m able to take them to work with me. My wife helps me with marketing our services.”
Micah is in the reserves and teaches ROTC at Central Texas A & M.
“It’s great to be able to influence future generations of Army leaders.”