Q. How often does my chimney require sweeping?
A. Smokeless fuel: At least once a year
Wood: Quarterly when in use
Bituminous coal: Quarterly when in use
Oil: Once a year
Gas: Once a year
The above frequencies are reconditions, the sweep might make further suggestions during their visit
Q. Will my chimney sweep issue me with an approved chimney sweeping certificate?
A. Yes, it is a requirement of membership to issue a Sweep Safe certificate at the completion of each job.
Q. How should I prepare for the chimney sweeps arrival?
A. The sweep will require a thirteen amp wall socket for their vacuum and as much space around the fireplace area as possible. A clear walkway must be provided to access the fireplace area. If you have some old dust sheets feel free to cover things that you might worry about. The sweep will bring their own sheets but better safe than sorry. Most importantly the fire must be extinguished at least 24 hours prior to the sweeps arrival.
Q. What is the typical process
A. Firstly you will phone or email and make a booking with a sweep. When they arrive at your property they will make a visual inspection of the stack and probably ask you to sign standard terms and conditions on the certificate. If everything appears I order then the sweep will proceed to lay out their sheets, bring in equipment, seal the fireplace opening and finally sweep the flue. Nowadays this may be by a rotary method, viper and star of old fashioned brushes. The vacuum will be running during the process to collect soot and prevent unnecessary mess. Upon completion of the sweeping process the sweep will check several things necessary to complete the certificate. These include ventilation, carbon monoxide alarms, condition of the stack/pots along with several other things. A smoke draw test will be performed to check the flue draught where possible.
Q. What if the sweep makes a mess?
A. Sweeping a chimney is a mucky job and although every effort will be made to keep your home clean should the worst happen Your sweep will be a professional. In the first instance they will probably clean any mess they caused instantly solving the issue. In the last instance all sweep safe members have public liability insurance should the worst happen and you cannot reach an understanding. There are some instances where chimneys have not been swept regularly or there may be a known problem such as a birds nest, damage or a blockage. In these circumstances we recommend that you remove valuables, and sheet up yourself using plastic poly sheets prior to your sweeps arrival. You must make the sweep aware of any know issues or problems prior to them starting work.
Q. I have shopped around and I can get cheaper else where?
A. Sweep Safe has no control over what it’s registered sweeps charge. Please bear in mind however that professionalism often comes at a price. A sweep safe sweep will often be a full time chimney sweep with overheads including: training, equipment, insurances, personal protective equipment and running costs. We are confident that our members offer value for money considering the service they provide.
Q. I think there is a problem with my chimney what is the process?
A. The most important thing is to find a Sweep Safe sweep near you and discuss in depth the problem that you face prior to their arrival. Some problems are mechanical and cannot be fixed via the sweeping process. Your sweep may recommend the services of a HETAS registered installer if they do not offer such services. Sometimes your sweep may ask you to take some pictures of the fireplace/ stove and the chimneys and stack on the roof.
Q. What should I burn?
A. This is a question that you should ask your sweep safe sweep during their visit who can advise on such things. What to burn, moisture content if wood, How to burn, How to store, when to refuel. There are many questions that you may wish to ask on sweeping day.
Q. I have a fuel effect gas fire does it still require sweeping?
A. It is recommended gas open fires are swept just prior to their annual service by a gas Safe technician. This is typically annually.