(* Not available in all locations)
Most flues require at least an annual sweep if used for burning wood, coal or oil (less frequently for gas fires). Birds often drop debris into the chimney, and some like to make it their home, so sweeping will ensure that your chimney flues remain clear of debris and are safe to use. Please always tell us if you think birds are nesting in your chimney.
Most households have their chimneys swept once a year. The best time to have this done is during the summer when you won’t want to use the fire. To ensure you’re up to date, we offer a reminder service and will arrange to contact you annually (or more frequently if required) to book your next visit from the Sweep.
The sweeping method we use means that little or no dust escapes into the room. With the vacuum running to keep any escaped soot at bay, we are able to offer a very clean service.
We love being the ‘experts’ – but we will tell you if we don't know! If, for example, you are experiencing a problem with the ‘draw’ on a chimney, or smoke is blowing back into the room, give us a call; we are very happy to provide advice. If we are unable to help, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can.
Our advice to help people solve these problems is free of charge – after all, we want you to use your fireplace – and use us to clean your chimneys!
Our prices are based on the property location and number of chimneys that need sweeping. We offer a discount for retired people who have their chimneys swept between January and July.
We also operate a Neighbour Link Option
One of the first signs that a bird or squirrel is making a home in your chimney is the presence of twigs or other ‘non-chimney’ debris in the fireplace. Most commonly, jackdaws, squirrels or starlings like to nest in chimneys. At worst, a blockage can be lethal, particularly if you have a gas or Parkray type fire because of the emission of carbon monoxide.The chimney of an open fire may become blocked resulting in smoke entering the room or even a chimney fire.
If you think there is a blockage in your chimney, please advise us, or call to discuss the problem. We can remove most blockages and can establish what has happened and how to prevent it happening again.
Since there may be eggs or even hatched baby birds in a nest (which are protected) we will not remove nests during the breeding season (May & June) to ensure that the young have left the nest.
For more information and advice from the RSPB follow this link: http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/law/whatsintheroof/removal.aspx
Sometimes a chimney may require a cap or cowl for protection:
Fitting the correct type of cage, cowl or cap is very important or problems may occur as a result. With our years of experience, our Sweeps will assess the requirements and recommend the correct type for your particular situation.
We fit several different types of cages, caps and cowls designed to prevent rain, birds, bees and vermin from entering the chimney. It is best to let us know what you are trying to achieve and our Sweeps can recommend the most suitable option.
The Sweeps usually have sample cowls in their vans to show you. In most cases they will also be able to advise the price. We will then arrange another visit to install the correct cap or cowl to your chimney.
We fit the caps and cowls from a ladder wherever possible. This avoids using scaffolding or other specialised (and sometimes expensive) access equipment.
As with sweeping, the price is affected by the property location, the type and number of cowls or cages required, but it will also be affected by any potential access problems – we need to see the chimney location before we can confirm prices to you.
Occasionally a problem with a chimney or other dry cavity space occurs which can’t easily be seen.
WILKINS are able to offer an inspection service that involves pushing a camera into the flue, in a similar fashion to sweeping the chimney.
The chimney void can then be seen on our tv monitor (we bring this with us), and the viewed evidence can be recorded to DVD for future use if required.
This CCTV inspection can be very useful for assessing any damage, when getting quotes for any remedial work and providing evidence for insurance or repair purposes.
It is also possible to use our CCTV cameras in any dry cavity spaces that are difficult to access. We regret we cannot use this equipment in drains.
(* Not available in all areas)
If we can reduce our driving and the number of telephone calls required to book appointments, we are happy to pass these savings on to you.
For that reason we operate a NEIGHBOUR LINK option that is simple to work and will save you money!
Quite simply, if you team up with your neighbours and organise for three or more properties to have their chimneys swept at the same time, we will offer you a discount. Houses with more than one chimney will receive a further discount.
We can provide you with flyers for your neighbours – just let us know if you would like to receive these.
There is some ‘small print’ of course:
We recommend and supply a product called HotSpot Flue Free for properties where the build up of tar is causing a problem. This product will help to remove some of the deposits that sweeping alone cannot remove. If you would like to know more or try the product, the Sweeps carry it with them and will be happy to advise you. Alternatively give us a call and we will arrange to deliver it (there may be a small additional charge but we’ll let you know in advance).
A simple smoke test can be carried out after sweeping if proof is required that a flue is working. Any charges will be advised before this work is carried out.
On occasions, for example when a chimney has not been used for some time, or in advance of fitting a gas fire or wood burning stove, a soundness test may be required. This test involves blocking the chimney at the top and introducing smoke to the flue. This is then monitored throughout the house to identify any problems. We are able to conduct this test to British Standard/Building Regulations for all flue and appliance types.
Call or email and we will contact you. Just to note, we will need two people to conduct this test so we need as much notice as possible to ensure we have the manpower available.
Traditionally, chimney sweeps have been considered lucky; that same tradition means that we are frequently asked to attend weddings to wish the bride and groom good fortune in their marriage. We’re delighted to provide this service in our local community (as you can tell by the photographs!) and will be happy to discuss your requirements if this is of interest to you.