Here are just a few questions I get asked the most often. If these do not cover
any questions you may have please feel free to get in touch with absolutely
Q. How often should I have my chimney swept?
A. Once a year covers you with your house insurance with the exception of thatched houses and converted barns, with which you should check with your insurer. Once a year is normally fine for most people, however it depends on usage and what you burn. For example, a person using a stove 24/7 throughout the winter will need it swept more often then somebody using it twice a week.
Q. I’ve got a liner. Do I still need it swept?
A. Yes. This is a common misconception. You will still get a soot build up in a liner. A liner has a smaller diameter than a normal brick flue, normally giving you a better draw but at the same time the restriction of soot can build up faster. See my gallery page for an example of just how much soot a liner can retain.
Q. I’ve got an inglenook. Do I still need it swept?
A. Yes. I’ve had a few clients ask this question as they’ve been misinformed as to how often they need it swept. An inglenook will gather soot just like any other chimney and therefore still needs to be cleaned.
Q. I’ve got a gas fire. Surely I don’t need to get my chimney swept?
A. All gas fires will need to be swept at some point. Go on the recommendation of your service engineer/insurance provider as to how often you should have it swept.
Q. Do I need a carbon monoxide detector for an open fire?
A. Yes. You should have a carbon monoxide detector for a gas, open fire, wood burner/multistove, AGA and Rayburn stoves.
Q. Do I have to put the fire out before I have it swept?
A. Yes, you’d be surprised how many clients have lit the fire before I come! The stack needs to be cool to be able to be swept.
Q. How long will it take to have my chimney swept?
A. The average time is 30 minutes. However, it depends on what is found and whether there are any problems, example, birds nests/blockages.
Q. My neighbour has something on top of their chimney do I need something?
A. Not necessarily. If your chimney is working fine then leave it as it is. If you are having any problems like excessive rain pouring down the chimney, birds nesting or wind pushing down the chimney then you may need a specific cowl on top of the chimney pot to deal with the problem.
Q. Do I have to cover all my furniture in my room?
A. I sheet up in the area around the fireplace where I am working but we advise for you to take any extra precautions you feel are necessary.
Q. Will it be messy?
A. It can be a messy job however I take all precautions to contain soot and dust within the fireplace.
Q. Can I still use my fire if there are birds nesting in my chimney?
A. No. The smoke won’t be able to exit the flue and will therefore billow back in to your room along with the hazardous fumes.
Q. Should I call the fire brigade if I have a chimney fire or should I try to put it out myself
A. You should try and extinguish the fire in the fireplace if it is safe to do so, but always call the fire brigade. The reason for this is you never know as to whether the fire in the chimney has been completely extinguished. The fire brigade will perform heat checks on every floor to ensure the fire is completely out and is safe.
Q. Do you sweep the chimney from the top?
A. No, I sweep it from the bottom.
Q. How much space do you need around the fireplace to be able to work?
A. Four square meters is ideal however I appreciate that this is not always possible so will do my best to accommodate you.
Q. I live in a flat, do I have to inform my neighbours above that they may get soot in their room when you sweep my chimney?
A. No as your flue although may share the same stack, each fireplace uses it’s own channel within that stack.
Q. Can I burn anything on my fire?
A. No. Burn only well seasoned wood and absolutely no pine! The greener the wood the more sap is within it and therefore when you burn it will cause tar deposits within the chimney flue which can be a fire hazard.
Q. Can I burn my Christmas tree on my fire?
A. No. Real Christmas trees contain a lot of resin and are extremely flammable and can therefore cause chimney fires.