Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary?

Do all chimney need to be swept?

Yes think of your chimney as the “safety hatch” for your fire or log burner. It provides a “safe way” out for poisonous gas and fumes. It is essential to keep it well maintained.

What will happen if my chimney is not swept?

Many things can happen the most common being a build-up of soot, tar and a substance call creosote. These build ups will then reduce the diameter of the chimney. This can happen very quickly when burning any solid fuel. Once the diameter of the chimney is reduced the likelihood of a chimney fire is greatly increased.

Am I required to have my chimney swept for my home insurance?

Yes most home insurance companies now require you to have your chimney swept yearly.

Can anyone sweep a chimney?

My neighbour sweeps his own chimney is that ok?

No. I am sure your friend or neighbour probably knows what he is doing, however your insurance company will not accept any liability for his work.

Do chimney sweeps belong to a recognised body?

Yes. Most sweeps belong to organised bodies such as the National Chimney Sweeping Safety Association (NCSSA).

Are chimney sweeps insured?

Yes. All NCSSA Members hold a minimum of £2m public liability insurance.

Will I get a certificate?

Yes. All NCSSA members provide a written certificate which is traceable by the NCSSA back to the sweep who carried out the work.

Will my chimney be tested?

Yes. We will conduct a “smoke test” before issuing a certificate. This is to make sure your chimney is venting correctly.

Will you be clean and careful?

Will my home be filled with soot?

No. Although having your chimney swept can be a dirty job, I will take great care NOT to make any mess or any damage. I carry dust sheets and state of the art industrial vacuums designed with safety in mind.

Will you need to go on my roof?

No. 99% of chimneys are swept from the bottom up.

Chimney fires?

Is it true chimney fires are easy to contain?

THEY ARE NOT. They are in fact very serious events. Heat in chimney fire can very quickly reach 2000 degrees. They contain very hot gas that can escape through any weakness in a chimney structure. This can possibly lead to a full blown house fire. In Kent in 2011 there were over 300 reported chimney fires resulting in over £10m in damages.

Which fuels should I burn?

Can I burn any logs in my fire?

No. Only burn seasoned logs in your fire. This is very important. Seasoned logs are logs that have been outside in the elements for at least 1 year. They should then be stored outside for a further year under cover. Seasoning your logs will help you get the best possible results from your fuel. It will also help with the reduction of tar and creosote forming in your chimney.

Hardwood or Softwood?

Fact is it does not matter too much. As long as the wood is seasoned and dry either is fine. Hardwood tends to burn longer than soft wood and “spits” less. Softwood has a higher resin content therefore can “spit” more.

How will I know if my logs are dry?

If you have stored your logs under cover they should be dry enough to burn.

Where should I buy my logs?

Word of mouth is the best advice for this, ask around. Local established tree surgeons tend to be able to supply good quality logs. Always ask for seasoned logs.

Are Chimney Sweeps Lucky?

Why are chimney sweeps said to be lucky?

This dates back to the reign of king Charles 11. It is said that after the Kings horse “bolted” a nearby chimney sweep risked his own life to bravely bring the run-away horse under control, surely saving the Kings life. The King issued a Royal decree stating all chimney sweeps should be considered as Lucky.