Frequently Asked Questions

Why do chimneys need sweeping?

To clean them! A clean chimney is a SAFE chimney. Regular sweeping is the best way to prevent a chimney fire.

Does a lined chimney need to be swept?

Yes – lined chimneys get dirty too.

How often is sweeping required?

The belt and braces approach is to sweep before, during and after the cold months:

Before - to make sure there are no blockages e.g. birds’ nests
During – to maintain the appliance’s efficiency
After – to make sure the flue is clean before being left idle – sootfalls often happen in the summer months

As a minimum I recommend that all used chimneys are swept at least once a year. Heavily used chimneys can need sweeping two or, sometimes, three times a year. Such chimneys are, more often than not, stainless steel lined woodburner flues where the fire is regularly “slumbered” overnight. That can cause excessive tarring which, in turn, becomes a significant fire risk. Slumbering woodburners is not a good idea!

When is it best to have a chimney swept?

Many people elect to have their chimneys swept once a year prior to the cold months. Consequently my busiest months are between September and December. Be prepared – plan ahead and book early.

Does sweeping make a mess?

Very, very rarely. I use special soot sheets and a powerful industrial vacuum cleaner which contains the soot inside the fireplace. However clearing large birds’ nests can be a little dusty!

What should I do to prepare for your visit?

I will need a clear passage to the fireplace with adequate space to work in. I would appreciate ornaments being cleared from the hearth and mantelpiece. It would also be helpful if the grate could be cleared of fuel, ashes or rubbish. You may wish to cover your furniture with a dust sheet but this is not a necessity.

I have a tar-like substance in my chimney – will sweeping sort this out?

Tar residues usually arise from burning wet wood. Sweeping is unlikely to shift this without prior use of a chimney cleaning log – these can be easily purchased online or from a good hardware shop – they need to be used 10-14 days prior to my visit.

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