Chimney Sweeping Questions:
Q: Why do my chimneys need to be swept?
A: A chimney needs to be swept because it
is the outlet system for your heating appliance, think of it as
similar to a car exhaust. If the flue is blocked this will stop
hot gases and poisonous fumes from escaping from your house which
would be a danger to your health and property. With a solid fuel
appliance sweeping removes the soot, creosote and tar deposits which
build up in your chimney flue. If the chimney flue is left unswept
this significantly increases the chance of a chimney fire.
Q: How often should I sweep my chimney?
A: The Institute of Chimney Sweeps strongly
recommends that smokeless fuel systems are swept once a year, bitumous
coal twice a year, wood quarterly and oil and gas once a year.
Q: How long does it take to sweep a chimney?
A: Approximately 1 hour for most flues but
this can vary with larger or more difficult flues ie: soot boxes
on exterior walls or in attics.
Q: What preparation do I have to do before the sweep arrives?
A: Firstly make sure the the open fire or
stove has no hot embers left in the bottom and it has been cold
for at least 12 hours.
Leave a clear working space infront of the fire approximately 6'
x 4' if possible.
If possible remove all ornaments from and around the fire.
And leave the rest to us.
Q: Can I burn any type of wood on my fire?
A: No. You should only burn seasoned wood,
that is, wood which has been left outside for a year and then stored
undercover outside for a further year. This will reduce but not
eliminate the build up of tar and creosote in your flue which wood
always produces. Hence the more wood you burn the more frequently
the Chimney flue will need to be swept.
Q: Our chimney has suddenly started smoking, what is the
A: This could be caused by the chimney or
flue being blocked by mortar, a birds nest or possibly soot; your
chimney needs sweeping.
Q: The smoke seems to be increasing, what should I do?
A: Your flue is likely to be partially blocked
by soot, condensates or tar; discontinue using the fire immediately and call a professional chimney sweep.
Q: Do we remove gas fires?
A: No unless your chimney sweep is Gas Safe
registered he would be breaking the law and putting your lives in
danger. We work with many registered gas fitters and would be happy
to recommend one in your area.