Frequently Asked Questions
WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE MY CHIMNEY / FLUE SWEPT?
Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning will increase the efficiency of some appliances. Birdnests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed.
HOW OFTEN DOES MY CHIMNEY NEED SWEEPING?
As a general rule a chimney should be swept at least once a year. In some cases more frequent sweeping will be required. Frequency will depend on a number of factors including: Type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, type of chimney. During the visit your Master Sweep will be able to advise on sweeping frequency as well as how to get the most efficiency and enjoyment from your fireplace or appliance.
WHY SHOULD I USE A GUILD REGISTERED CHIMNEY SWEEP?
Guild sweeps undertake an extensive training and assessment process. Training is based around the most comprehensive training manual in the UK. Guild membership requires members to be insured for Chimney Sweeping and equipped to deal with all standard job situations. Because the Guild is owned equally by all its members it can act like a co-operative, sharing information and offering the best service available.
DOES IT MAKE A MESS?
This is a very good question to ask when booking any sweep. The answer should be - very rarely. Guild sweeps are able to draw on the collective knowledge of the whole organisation and have a number of best practice techniques for preventing dust escapes. A rare exception may be when the chimney is blocked with a bird’s nest or when it is sometimes difficult to contain all dust, your Master Sweep will usually be able to advise you in these cases before your chimney is swept.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR THE SWEEP’S VISIT?
Ask your sweep this question when booking. In general they will need a clear passage to the chimney and adequate space to work in. Remove ornaments from the hearth and mantelpiece. Make sure that the fireplace or stove is cool and clear. For the sweeping of Aga and Rayburn flues make sure the appliance is switched off allowing plenty of time to cool down.
DO I NEED TO HAVE MY GAS / OIL FLUES SWEPT?
Although burning these fuels does not normally deposit soot there are numerous other problems which can affect chimney function and sweeping can solve or identify these. In countries such as Germany, where sweeping all chimneys and flues is a legal requirement, the number of carbon monoxide poisonings and chimney fires are a fraction of the UK.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE MY CHIMNEY SWEPT?
A standard sweep is £65. There are many different types of appliance or chimney and the cost will vary. Some jobs may take longer to complete properly so expect to pay more if extra time is necessary. If you are comparing prices of different sweeps make sure you are comparing like for like. When you book your service with The Master Sweep your chimney will be thoroughly swept and your appliance serviced to the standards of The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps ensuring you receive the most professional service available. I cover all aspects of safety and will alert you to any problems or issues. I will also show you how to ensure you are burning the right fuel, the right way. This will save you money. Something that is often overlooked but is of utmost importance is the paperwork. Most insurance companies require a valid certificate from a certified chimney sweep, renewed each year. I will cover recommended servicing intervals to ensure maximum safety for you and your family (pets included!) and explain many other benefits.
Be careful not to just opt for the cheaper option as it may end up being a false economy and leave you in a dangerous situation as many of our customers have found in the past!
I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MY FIREPLACE / STOVE / CHIMNEY.
In the UK there is a general lack of knowledge concerning all aspects of solid fuels,
solid fuel appliances and their associated flues and chimneys. Problems are therefore not uncommon and it can be difficult to get reliable information and qualified, independent advice. Guild sweeps are trained to high standards and are conversant with the complexities of solid fuel heating and venting systems and the associated building regulations.
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