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

Chimney Sweep FAQs

1Why should I have my chimney swept?
The use of open fires, wood or multi-fuel stoves produces soot and creosote tar that are carried up the chimney in the smoke where they can build up. These deposits are flammable and can cause a fire hazard as well as potentially leading to corrosion of chimney linings. The burning of fuel also produces toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. Regular chimney sweeps are important because your chimney will be checked and cleaned, ensuring that are free from obstruction such as soot, tar, birds nests and lose masonry, enabling smoke to vent freely. This also means that regular chimney sweeps also help your fire and stoves to to be more fuel efficient.
2Will sweeping the chimney make a mess?
I am careful and use modern techniques to ensure that the chimney sweep will not make a mess. Before the sweep begins the work area is covered and chimney sealed, during the sweep a vacuum is used to minimise dust and soot and debris are securely contained at the end of the job. This ensures that the sweep is both clean and efficient.
3How much does it cost?
A standard chimney sweep costs: A standard sweep with no issues is £45 for 1 flue, £55 for 2 flues, £70 for three flues in the local area, for up to 45 minutes per flue. Jobs further away may incur a modest travel supplement, jobs taking longer than usual due to access/poor maintenance/bird nests are charged at £25/hour. This includes: Chimney inspection Sweep and vacuum Soot and dust control A certificate of cleaning Cowl fitting is £60, we recommend Euro Cowl Ltd, Euro Top Guards for active multi fuel appliances (wood burners and open fires) whilst they are around £55 and cheaper ones are available they generally last years longer and are better value in the long run. The stainless steel versions are my first choice but painted stone and terracotta versions are available. For disused flues a Euro Topcap is recommended, they shelter from the elements and allow the flue to breath helping to protect from damp problems in the chimney breast. Will can supply the cowl or can fit your own if you wish.
4What happens to the soot?
The soot removed from your chimney is securely bagged-up for you to dispose in your usual rubbish collection.
5Do I need to prepare before the chimney sweep?
Please ensure that a fire has not been lit for at least 12 hours before the chimney sweep. It is also helpful to remove any ornaments, hearth furniture and any other obstructions from the chimney area.
6How often do I need a chimney sweep?
The frequency of chimney sweeping required depends upon a number of factors but as a rough guide: Smokeless fuel: once per year Coal: twice per year Wood burning - when in frequent use: every 3-6 months Gas: once per year
7How long does a sweep take?
An average chimney sweep takes approximately 45 minutes

For a local friendly and professional chimney sweep Call 07551 199523