How often does my chimney need sweeping?
In most cases a working chimney should be swept annually as a minimum. The frequency will depend on a number of factors such as, fuel used, appliance type, duration of use, moisture content of wood/fuel, type of chimney and your home insurance requirements. The sweeping frequencies below are for guidance as recommend by The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS).
- Wood burning appliances – Once a season when in use (every 3mths)
- Smokeless fuel/coal – At least once a year
- House / biturious coal – At least twice a year
- GAS or Oil – Once a year
How do you clean the chimney?
I can clean your chimney either the old traditional way with rods and brushes, or the new most effective way by ‘power sweeping’. Both methods have the same principle of cleaning the chimney, but ‘power sweeping’ is most effective and less likely to cause damage to chimney or appliance. I sweep around 97-99% of chimneys with the power sweeping equipment. Some customers expect the hoover to clean the chimney. This is only used to contain any dust caused whilst sweeping and whilst removing debris from the fire place. Stoves & fire openings are all sealed off before any sweeping takes place to ensure no dust enters the room.
Why do I need to have my chimney swept?
A chimney needs to allow for the free passage of dangerous gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and other deposits such as tar/creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning will increase the efficiency of some appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will also be removed. Please note, that most insurance companies will now request a copy of a professional sweeping certificate (such as a NACS certificate) in the event of a claim. In most cases the certificate must be no more than 12 months old prior to the claim.
I used to have an open fire, I now have a wood burner / multi fuel stove, do I need to have my chimney swept still?
Yes. And you may find it will need sweeping more often than when it was used as an open fire.
I’m having problems with my fire, do you offer advice on how to correct any problems?
Yes, as a NACS sweep I have knowledge on how to solve the majority of appliance/chimney problems. In the majority of cases this will be free and can also be done over the phone without a visit.
When is the best time of year to have my chimney swept?
August to December are peak months and bookings are generally several weeks in advance (in some cases months). I would recommend getting your chimney swept after you have finished using it in the spring, as the demand for sweeping increases just as summer ends. Also, should a problem arise following the sweep, that then needs repairing/attention before using again. Then there is plenty of time to get it fixed (such as a broken pot, loose bricks/damaged stack, stove rope repairs, new parts for appliance).
How long does it take?
An average sweeping appointment is 1 hour from arrival to signing certificate.
What happens to the soot/debris removed?
Any deposits removed will be left with the customer to be disposed of in their general waste bin. This is as advised to do so by NACS and the local authorities. Soot is classed as a hazardous waste product and under EU law requires that the waste product is disposed of accordingly. Therefore, only sweeps who have a waste carriers license for hazardous materials can remove waste from the customers address. However, if contained within the hoover, it only applies once it has to be removed from (ie loose).
Does it make a mess?
Very rarely, a rare exception may be when the chimney is blocked with a bird’s nest, then it is sometimes difficult to contain all dust or if a stove/fire surround has been badly fitted.
Do you cover the carpets?
Yes, I have approx 2 meter sq sheeting (double sheeted) in front of the fireplace to place my sweeping equipment on. If required I have runners from the fire place to your front door also.
Do you cover furniture, electrical items (ie TV’s) ?
No, however, feel free to cover any furnishings/electrical appliances in the room. Majority of sweeps undertaken have little to no mess in the room once completed. There are some circumstances out of my control, which can cause minor soot deposits in the room (ie birds nests removed/condemned appliances).
Do I need to do anything before you arrive?
I require a clear passage to the fire place with approx 2 meter sq area in front of the appliance. Ideally all ash to be removed. And anything around the harth such as fire guards, ornaments, vases etc are also removed. If any pets are home, it is advisable to ensure they are not in the room whilst the sweep takes place, as they can often be distressed by the noise. The fire appliance needs to be cold and have no hot embers in. It is advisable to ensure the fire is out before 9pm the day prior to the sweep. Any fire deemed too hot or unsafe to sweep may incur a wasted journey/missed booking fee. Feel free to cover any furnishings/electrical appliances in the room. The majority of chimneys that I have swept leave little to no mess in the room. However, some circumstances out of my control can cause minor soot deposits in the room (ie birds nests removed/condemned appliances).
Do you provide a certificate for each sweep?
Yes, as a NACS member I can issue a certificate for each sweep undertaken on the day. I also keep a copy for my records for at least 2 – 3 years should you ever need a copy. Please note, that most insurance companies will now request a copy of a professional sweeping certificate (such as a NACS certificate) in the event of a claim. In most cases the certificate must be no more than 12 months old prior to the claim.
Do you have insurance for damages?
Yes, I have full public liability insurance (£2m which is required as a NACS member).
How much will it cost to have my chimney swept?
Prices will vary due to the following;
- appliance type (open fire, inglenook, wood burner, multi fuel stove, inset, aga, rayburn, oil boiler flue, gas fire)
- chimney type (ie lined or not)
- additional soot doors/access panels to remove debris
- height of chimney (bungalow to several stories high)
- time since last swept
- blockages removed (tar/creosote, soot, birds, birds nests, chimney balloons, other sweeps brushes left in chimney!)
- volume removed (ash pan full to several black sacks)
- and whether any repairs are required (such as flue joints sealing, new door rope etc).
Majority of sweeps cost £50 – £55 on average.
Does your price include VAT?
No. Due to VAT requirements, I do not have to be VAT registered, therefore no VAT is charged or included in the price given.
How long have you been a sweep and what other experience do you have?
I have been sweeping since summer 2011 and have been trained and assessed to be a member of NACS. Previously I have worked in finance and as manager for a large transport firm.
What areas/towns/villages do you cover?
Generally within a 20 mile radius of Colsterworth (7 miles south of Grantham) where I live. This includes Grantham, Stamford, Bourne, Melton Mowbray, Oakham, Upppingham, Newark, Market Deeping, Sleaford and all surrounding villages.
Do you carry out repair work?
Yes. Minor repair work such as stove maintenance which includes glass cleaning, glass replacement, rope repairs/replacement, sealing of flue joints, replacement of fire brick & throat plates.
Do you install Carbon Monoxide Alarms?
Yes. I also carry these on my van.
Do you install stoves/wood burners/liners?
No. You need to get a qualified HETAS engineer/installer from the website below, to ensure your appliance is fitted correctly and is not dangerous once fitted. www.hetas.co.uk
Do you attend weddings as a lucky sweep?
Yes. I have a traditional costume and an old bike to arrive on. A gift will be presented to the bride and groom. Visit my picture gallery to see some examples of weddings attended by myself.
Can I ask another question?
Yes, either call me or send me an email with your question.
- Melton Mowbray
- Market Deeping
…and surrounding villages.View coverage