For a guide on wood as fuel, please see Wood as Fuel
Here are some of the most common chimney sweeping FAQ
Why do I need to get my chimney swept?
Chimneys need to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning the chimney will increase the efficiency of appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed.
How often does my chimney need sweeping?
The sweeping frequencies below are for guidance only. Frequency of sweeping will depend on a number of factors such as: Usage, fuel type and type of chimney.
For occasional and weekend use once a year should be sufficient. For more frequent use, especially if you burn a lot of wood in a stove then you should have your chimney swept at least once before you start having fires, usually in the autumn and then once halfway thorough the season in January. It may be necessary to have it swept four times a year. For gas and oil once a year should suffice but always stick to the manufacturers guidance.
How long does sweeping take?
Normally sweeping will take about one hour from me arriving to me handing you the certificate and walking out the door. There are some exceptions to this such as a difficult chimney, or a very dirty chimney in which case it may be over an hour.
What do I need to do to prepare for the arrival of the chimney sweep?
In most cases very little. Do not have a fire in an open fire or stove for at least 10 hours before my arrival. There should be no hot coals in the the appliance. Agas, Rayburns and boilers should have at least 18 hours to cool down before my arrival. Remove any ash from the grate. Clear the immediate area around the appliance of vases, photo frames and other ornaments to allow me room to work . I will bring shoe covers, floor runners and dust sheets to cover the immediate area and allow me space to work.
How can I stop birds nesting in my chimney?
Birds nesting in chimneys can be a serious problem not only in chimneys still in use but in ones where the fire has been sealed off. The nest will block the chimney causing smoke to fill the room below. In disused chimneys birds may fall down the chimney and become stuck behind the blocked off fire. Nest material, twigs, leaves and down feathers, are extremely combustible and provides a chimney fire hazard. Getting your chimney swept will remove the nest. However if the problem is an annual one then a proper bird guard or cap should be fitted.