Chimney Cleaning Advice
Chimney flues should be swept at least every 12 months, heavy users(especially commercial chimneys found in pubs etc) and some flues types may require sweeping more frequently. Some chimneys draw very well and don't collect much build up, some have many bends or the environment around the chimney can affect the smoke clearing.
Visible signs a chimney needs sweeping are hearing or seeing soot falling down the chimney and into the fire, this indicates a large build up, fires becoming harder to light or not drawing so well. Chimney blockages can occur from building debris, birds nests or even spiders webs building up with soot and causing smoke and harmful gases to back up into the house, in the worst case you can set your flue alight causing damage to the house and a potential dangerous situation for you, your family and neighbours. Once the smoke clearing is constricted in the flue even by a small amount the smoke builds up on itself creating a cushion effect which itself prevents more smoke exiting the flue and it backs up down the flue and out the appliance itself
If you have just moved in or have a new installation it is a good idea to have your chimney swept and then cleaned at regular intervals so you can gauge how much build up the flue is getting over a set period (i.e. 6 or 12 months), obviously this can depend on varying use from year to year but it gives you a good measure initially and you know if it was a cold winter or a mild winter when you did the measure so you can judge later seasons accordingly. The effectiveness of the draw of the chimney can be another big indicator to when your chimney needing sweeping. If you are unsure if your chimney requires sweeping and need advice on this please feel free to contact me on 07551 199523