Why do I need to have my chimney/flue swept?
Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning will increase the efficiency of some appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed.
How often does my chimney need sweeping?
Frequency will depend on a number of factors including: Type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, type of chimney. Usually, at least once per three tons of burned wood.
What should I do to prepare for the sweep’s visit?
In general they will need a clear passage to the chimney and adequate space to work in. Clear ornaments from the hearth and perhaps from the mantelpiece. In particular, clear the grate of any fuel / ash / rubbish as cleaning up before they start is a pet hate of most sweeps.
Why do I need to sweep a chimney before it is closed off?
If a chimney is closed off, it can get a bit damp. If there is and soot up there, then this soot can turn to a black acidic slurry that in an old chimney can soak into the internal walls causing severe problems. If bad enough this damp can penetrate through to the room where it will cause unpleasant stains on the walls.
A bird has come down my chimney, how do I stop this from happening again?
Seek the advice of your local Guild Sweep who will be able to advise you on a suitable terminal/guard for your chimney.