Burning fossil fuel (Wood, Coal etc.) produces soot, creosote and tar. This is carried up through your chimney flue to escape through the opening at the top. Some of these substances will cling to the inside of the lining, and over time the flue will become congested or even blocked completely. Not only does this prevent the way that your fire or stove performs, producing less heat and allowing smoke to enter the room, but it also stops dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide from exiting the flue, presenting a significant and potentially fatal health risk to you and your family. There is also the risk of a chimney fire when deposits are allowed to build up in the flue. Chimney flues and pots are also popular nesting places for birds and even squirrels, another cause of blockages that would present the risks as described above.
You could invest in a set of rods and a brush on E-bay and attempt to sweep the chimney yourself. However the composition of chimneys varies greatly depending on the age and architecture of the building, which is why a competent and qualified sweep will be equipped with a variety of rods and brushes to cater for all types of flue, ensuring an effective and thorough job. Also, we use industrial vacuums with more efficient filters to cope with the volume and particular make up of soot and creosote deposits that would challenge the hardiest of “Henry” Hoovers.
This varies depending on the type of fuel you use. The general guidance is once a year for smokeless fuel, oil and gas, and quarterly for wood and bituminous coal. That said, if the fire or stove is used a lot, it may be wise to arrange an additional sweep.
When we sweep your chimney we seal the fireplace using specially designed sheets that have an aperture to allow a brush and rods to be inserted and pushed up the chimney to displace soot and tar deposits. We also use the suction of the “Hoover” to create a negative vacuum inside the fireplace, further preventing the escape of soot and dust. The area immediately around the fireplace is also covered.
Although gas appliances do not produce soot, the fumes produced, including carbon monoxide, are as harmful as those produced by fossil fuels. There is a danger that a flue can become blocked by cobwebs or nests. All gas appliances should be serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer once a year. They will identify if an appliance is not performing efficiently and would advise you if the flue needs sweeping. If the flue needs to be swept we would require ready access. Please remember that we cannot detach or remove gas appliances as we are not Gas Safe registered.
We require a clear space of approximately 6’ by 6’ (2m x 2m) in front of the hearth, and access to carry in our equipment. We ask that the hearth be cleared of any ash, coals and other debris, and any ornaments, candles, vases or flower arrangements be removed also.
Most chimneys take about 45 minutes to an hour, from the time we arrive to the time we leave. Some chimneys may take longer if there are obstructions such as nests in the flue, or the configuration is such that negotiating our way up with the brush is simply more difficult.
We charge £50 for a standard sweep of a domestic chimney. Complications, such as dismantling or moving multi fuel stoves, sweeping flues from additional access points, the removal of nests etc may incur an additional charge, however no work is undertaken without the consent of the home owner, and the price would be agreed in advance.
We are trained chimney sweeps who apply the techniques we have learned to minimise any potential problems. That said, you should be aware that there are things that could go wrong. When clearing nests or cleaning chimneys that have not been swept for a number of years it can prove more difficult to contain soot and dust within the hearth. Also, prior to sweeping a chimney we carry out a visual check of the stack and pot, and will only continue if the structure appears sound. Should there be damage caused to or by loose masonry or pots, we would not be liable for the cost of replacement or repair.
Yes. When the sweep shows you the brush out of the pot you can be certain that the flue has been thoroughly swept from top to bottom.
IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SWEEP A CHIMNEY BY THE USE OF A VACUUM ONLY!
If a “sweep” does this and tells you he has swept your chimney, don’t pay him, show him the door, and if he claims to be a member of a trade body, report him.