How often and why should you have the chimney swept?
The fire service recommend that that in normal use chimneys should be swept as follows, unless your Insurance company or stove manufacturer declares otherwise:
– Chimneys with solid fuel appliances: Smokeless fuels at least once a year / Domestic bituminous coal at least twice a year / Wood burning every three months when in use.
– Chimneys with gas appliances: once a year plus they should be checked by a Gas Safe technician.
– Chimneys with oil appliances once a year plus they should be checked by an OFTEC technician.
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; helping to guard against chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Please always tell us if you think birds are nesting in your chimney as removing a nest is a much bigger job than just sweeping a chimney.
What happens when the Sweep visits?
- We usually need to allow half an hour per chimney
- We will need room to bring in our equipment, so the area in front of the fire needs to be cleared, ideally allowing an area of 2 metres (6 feet) squared
- Sometimes the chimney can be swept through an external hatch in the chimney breast. It will still be necessary to have access to the house to ensure that no debris falls into the fireplace or soot enters the room during the sweep
- We will place sheets over the fireplace to protect the room. However, if soft furnishings or delicate objects are close to the fireplace, we ask that you cover these or remove them for safety
- There is no need to cover all the furniture and surfaces in the room, unless you want to
- We will require a live 13 amp socket to plug in our commercial vacuum cleaner.
- The Sweep will then work at the fireplace using brushes, rods and the vacuum to remove soot or other debris from the chimney.
- We will leave the fireplace clear and clean – and the chimney safe to use.
Time your visits right
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.
If you have a woodburner, we are able to service your stove during our off-peak months only – and we must sweep the woodburner flue at the same time.
Keeping you clean
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.
Ask our advice
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. Please check with your local WILKINS CHIMNEY SWEEP for charges and availability. Discounts are available and will be advised when booking.
Please ask about our Neighbour Link Option.