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Interior Inspiration, Advice & Tips

When was the last time you had your Chimney swept?

Posted on by Kirsty Fletcher • Leave a comment
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Having your Chimney swept yearly is one of the most important jobs on your to do list.

It might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people are putting their homes at risk by delaying it.

If like us you are one of the growing number of home owners re-introducing real coal or wood fires/log burners into your homes then a yearly sweep of your chimney is essential to keep your home safe.

Real fires and log burners add wonderful character and warmth to any home but regular maintenance of your chimney will ensure your fire burns safely and efficiently.

In 2017/18 there were 3,984 chimney fires in England. The majority of these could all have been avoided by better fire maintence. One of those 3,984 homes could be yours if you don’t maintain your chimney correctly. It’s scary but it’s true.

When I had my chimney swept earlier this year I asked my chimney sweep what the most common questions are that he gets asked…

  • How often should you have your chimney swept?

    Generally the advice for domestic use is at least once a year. For heavy use where you are burning fuel continuously or very regularly, in a pub for instance, you will need it doing more regularly. Your Chimney sweep will be able to advise you on the frequency.

  • When is the best time of year to have my chimney swept?

    The best time is at the end of the summer when the fire hasn’t been used for a good period of time. Remember that everyone else will be booking their chimney sweeps at a similar time so get them booked in early. Put a reminder in you diary!

  • If I don’t have my chimney swept yearly will my home insurance become invalid?

    Check your Insurance Policy! Most policies require you to have your chimney professionally swept once a year.

  • Will my Chimney sweep provide me with anything to prove that they have swept the chimney?

    All registered and qualified chimney sweeps will provide you with a certificate upon completion of their work. You should keep this safe in case you need it in the future.

  • How do I find a qualified Chimney Sweep?

    APICS is the Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps. If you go to their website by clicking here you can simply type in your postcode (UK Only) and a list of your local chimney sweeps will come up.

  • APICS sweeps are qualified to not only sweep your chimney properly but to also give you valuable advice on fuels, frequency of sweeping etc. Sweeping is very important to keep your chimney clear of deposits, which are usually combustible.
    Having a certificate of sweeping from your APICS sweep also ensures that your house insurance will not be null and void due to your neglect! Make sure to get your chimney swept before it’s too late
    .” Ryan Metters (APICS Chairman)

    This is my Chimney Sweep, Bono sorry John (!) from Wilkins Chimney Sweep

  • Will they make a mess?

    The short answer is No! Someone said to me that a good Chimney Sweep leaves no trace! We have cream carpets so I was really nervous about the mess! I needn’t have worried. Bono turned up with all the necessary equipment including an industrial vacuum cleaner and a rather fetching pair of shoes slippers!

    • What sort of fuel should I be burning in my log burner?

      If you have a wood burning stove you should be burning wood with a moisture content of 20% or less. It’s far more efficient than wetter wood as energy isn’t wasted trying to burn the moisture off first. Less harmful particulates will be released into the air and most importantly it will reduce highly flammable sooty deposits building up in your chimney. Where possible, when buying wood, look for the Ready to Burn logo. This ensures that the wood is from a reputable manufacturer and contains less than 20% moisture. Also check that your wood is from a sustainable source.

    Stay safe everyone and get those chimneys swept!


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