Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Please see below for answers to some common questions we get asked. If you don’t see the answer to your question, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

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 3 months)
  • Smokeless fuel/coal – At least once a year
  • House / bituminous coal – At least twice a year
  • Gas or Oil – Once a year

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 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.

Yes. And you may find it will need sweeping more often than when it was used as an open fire.

Yes, as a NACS sweep I have knowledge on how to solve the majority of appliance/chimney problems.

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).

An average sweeping appointment is 1 hour from arrival to signing certificate.

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 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 (i.e. loose).

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.

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.

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 (i.e. birds nests removed/condemned appliances).

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 hearth 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 (i.e. birds nests removed/condemned appliances).