What are the benefits of hiring a professional chimney sweep?
A good chimney sweep will have the necessary training and experience
to notice problems which might lead to chimney fires or inefficient
burning and will be able to bring these problems to your attention.
Most chimney sweeps will also inspect your chimney for potential
problems from the roof. Even if you have an idea about what to look
for, it might be problematic, or even dangerous, for you to attempt this
yourself. It is also unlikely that your own untrained eye would notice
more subtle problems, such as signs of freeze-thaw weathering. If a
problem is noticed early, it will probably be easier, and cheaper, to
It is also much more convenient to hire a professional to take what
will inevitably be a time consuming, physically draining and messy job
off your hands. Hiring a professional would also bring you the peace of
mind of knowing that problems have not been overlooked and that your
chimney is safe and well-maintained.
How often should I have my chimney cleaned?
At least once a year. Chimney sweeps usually advise that chimneys
ought to be cleaned after a period of prolonged disuse (over the summer
for example). Many also advise that chimneys should be cleaned before
the end of the heating season to ensure that the chimney is clear of
animal nests and prepared for the subsequent idle period.
If a chimney is used very often, it might be necessary to sweep it
more often. A professional chimney sweep would be able to advise the
optimum cleaning schedule for your chimney.
Do I need to have my chimney swept if I have a gas fire?
Yes, although less frequently. Blockages in chimneys connected to gas
fires can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide and other harmful
gases. A professional chimney sweep can advise how often your chimney
ought to be swept.
Where can I find a good chimney sweep?
As with many things, word o
f mouth is the best means of securing a
reliable chimney sweep. If you do not know anyone else who has a real
coal or wood fire, chimney sweeps can be found in the Yellow Pages, and
most will be more than willing to provide you with a list of references.
Do not be afraid to follow these up. It is also important to ask how
much experience the chimney sweep has, and whether or not he or she is
The National Association of Chimney Sweeps
website also provides an excellent means of locating a reliable chimney
sweep in your area. All members of the National Association of Chimney
Sweeps are fully qualified and experienced, have full public liability
insurance and issue certificates on completion of their work. For
additional peace of mind, all members are also required to provide
references on request. If you would prefer to contact the National
Association of Chimney Sweeps by telephone, you can do so on +44 (0)800
You can also contact the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps,
the professional association of chimney sweeps in the UK. They train,
assess and monitor their members to ensure that customers receive the
best service. If you are looking for a chimney sweep in the UK, please
check their database of chimney sweeps in your area.