Frequently Asked Questions
Before you ask, we don't send children up the chimneys anymore and we don't drop a chicken from the top.
Why do I need to have my chimney swept?
Chimneys are there to allow the safe passage of potentially harmful/lethal gases from your home/building. Sweeping will clear blockages caused by nests, cobwebs and loose brickwork.
Regular cleaning will help remove soot and tar to prevent dangerous chimneys fires.
Sweeping increases the efficiency of your fire. It will also allow for the inspection of your flue and any potential hazards.
How often should I have my chimney swept?
The information below is for guidance only. Many other factors affect how frequently you have your chimney swept. Your sweep will be able to advise you further.
Smokeless fuel: At least once a year
Wood: Quarterly when in use
Bituminous coal: Quarterly when in use
Oil: Once a year
Gas: Once a year
Is carbon monoxide only produced when burning gas?
No! Carbon monoxide is produced when there is incomplete burning of any carbon-based fuel. This includes gas, wood, coal and oil! If you are in any way unsure consult an expert. (link to carbon monoxide aware site) We would also recommend the installation and regular inspection of a carbon monoxide detector.
Will there be any mess?
Very rarely! In most cases, the fireplace is left cleaner than when we arrived. But you do need to be realistic about this. If we have to dislodge or remove large amounts of soot we can only go so far to control dust escaping. There is a chance small amounts of dust can escape. We would advise any delicate objects/furniture in the immediate vicinity be moved / protected. This is only a precaution and very rarely necessary.
Should the chimney have a specialist liner fitted?
It is often preferable but not always necessary. As long as the flue does not leak and passes a smoke sound test it should be adequate. However if a log burner/stove is fitted provisions should be in place for access to the chimney for the effective removal of soot.
Why do I have separate flues for each fireplace/appliance? Why is there more than one chimney pot?
Each appliance must have its own separate flue in order to allow the safe passage of toxic gases from your home. Having 2x appliances in one flue can affect the up-draught / draw. Potentially this will lead to toxic gases entering parts of your home/building. A problem often referred to as siphoning.
What is a vacuum chimney sweep? Will you just use a special vacuum?
There is no method of cleaning a chimney / flue with a vacuum alone. The vacuum is primarily used to clear the soot and debris removed in the process of sweeping. A brush must still be used be it of a traditional or more modern type.
The vacuum we use is HEPA filtered in order filter the air released back into your room throughout the cleaning process.
How long will it take?
It will usually take between thirty minutes and one hour for an average sweep. Obviously depending on the nature of the installation, times can vary greatly.
Do we have to be present?
It is not necessary but preferred, especially for the 1st visit.