If you think that chimney sweeps belong in Victorian times, you might be surprised to learn that many homes still require the services of a professional chimney sweep on a regular basis. This specialist job has changed over the years and is no longer the hazardous occupation it once was; however, it still requires a high level of training and experience.
If you have a real fire, you probably already know that you should have your chimney professionally cleaned by a chimney sweep at least once a year but ideally twice a year if burning wood or log products. Some people choose to do this in the summer when the fireplace has been out of use for a long time, while others opt to do it towards the end of winter before the fire is out of use for a period of several months. As long as you stick to annual sweepings, it is really up to you when you arrange your appointments.
Many people who have gas fires do not realise that they need to have their chimneys swept. While it is not usually necessary to have this done every year, as in the case of a real fire, you should ensure your chimney is swept occasionally. All chimneys can get blockages, which in the worst case scenario can lead to carbon monoxide and other gases building up inside the home. If you are installing a new gas fire into a chimney that has previously been used with a solid fuel fire, you should ask a chimney sweep to take a look first.
What does a chimney sweep do?
When hiring a chimney sweep for the first time, be sure to ask what is included in the service. You will, of course, be expecting to have your chimney cleaned and to have any debris removed. Chimney sweeps should also perform some checks. A good chimney sweep will assess your chimney to make sure it is in decent condition and provides adequate ventilation. Using a chimney sweep regularly can help to prevent fires in the chimney and ensure your fireplace is operating efficiently.
You might be tempted to save a bit of cash and try to clean your chimney yourself, but this is not a good idea. An experienced sweep will be able to spot signs of early damage or wear and tear that you are unlikely to notice. Cleaning a chimney is a messy and difficult job that is much better left to the experts. A NACS registered chimney sweep will adhere to a strict code of conduct & issue a certificate to ensure that is done cleanly & safely