Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost?
Prices are based on the location and number of chimneys to be swept. We also offer a discount to retired people who have their chimneys swept between January and July. We also offer a discount to serving members of the UK Armed Forces. Other local groups may also be offered a discount – please ask your local WILKINS CHIMNEY SWEEP.
How long does it take?
It usually takes half an hour to sweep each chimney. Occasionally we might experience a problem with the chimney because of its construction, which means it may take more time to sweep.
Blockages (e.g. a bird’s nest) take longer to clear because of the amount of debris that has to be removed. Where we know, or our customer suspects, there is a blockage we try to schedule this as the last appointment of the day to ensure any potential delay does not inconvenience our other customers.
Why can’t you give me an exact time for my appointment?
When you book a visit, we give you a time slot of one hour. We may be caught in traffic, have had to work on a difficult chimney earlier in the day, or perhaps the homeowner was out when we called. We try to keep to schedule as far as is possible and will always let you know if we are likely to arrive outside the previously agreed appointment time.
Do I need to be at home when the sweep calls?
We would like you to be available on the first occasion that we sweep your chimney so that we can discuss any problems with you, and check any sweeping problems that may have previously been encountered.
If necessary, we are happy for you to tell us where we can collect a key from, or you can ask a neighbour to let us in. If we have to drive any distance to collect a key we will do this with a small additional charge to cover the time and fuel.
Often our customers simply let us in and the go out! We believe that this is mainly because all of our sweeps are Police Checked but also because we return year on year and our customers get to know us.
We will happily work with you to make our service as convenient as possible.
Will I need to cover the furniture?
Our service is as clean as we can make it. We provide sheets that cover the fireplace opening and the area to the front of the fireplace, and we also use a commercial vacuum to keep dust to an absolute minimum.
When we remove a nest, however, we recommend that your furniture, television and carpets are covered. We will do our best to contain the debris but, until we start removing the nest, we cannot be sure of how big it is. The action of removing the nest means it is impossible to fully seal the fireplace and therefore further precautions need to be taken by the householder.
What happens if you make a mess?
The worst thing that we can do when sweeping is to bring soot down the chimney and into the room. We are very experienced and take every precaution to prevent this.
We have public liability insurance up to £2,000,000 so you can rest assured that, if an accident happens, you are fully covered.
I’ve just lit my fire and it is smoking – does it need to be cleaned?
If it has been used but not been swept within the past 12 months, for safety it should be swept as soon as possible. If it has not been used since it was last swept, and the problem of birds nesting can be ruled out (if there is a cage or cowl on the chimney), it could be due to the cold or weather conditions. Please call us and we may be able to give advice on the appropriate action to be taken.