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How often should chimneys be swept?

  • Gas

  • Oil

  • Smokeless coal

  • Bituminous coal

  • Wood

Once a year

Once a year

At least once a year

Quaterly when in use

Quaterly when in use

Frequenty asked questions

Frequently asked questions are listed questions and answers.

Why do I need my chimney swept?

Chimneys need sweeping on a regular basis to prevent soot, creosote, blockages such as bird nest, cobwebs, fumes and fire hazards. Regular cleaning increases the efficiency of some appliances. 

How often do I need my chimney sweeping?

Depending on various factors and the fuel used. Generally once a year, but where there is heavy use, twice a year. The following is recommended: Smokeless Coal, Gas and Oil once a year. Woods and Bituminous Coal Quarterly.

Should I do anything do prepare for the sweep's visit?

Simply clear the area in front of the fireplace to give the sweep enough room to work. Remove hot ash the night before. Empty the grate of ashes.

Is this process messy?

No, usually this process is not messy as care is taken and dust sheet covers are used. However, in some rare cases when there is blockage such as bird nest, some dust might escape. Generally the job is not messy. 

Why do I need to get my chimney swept if I have just moved in?

You need your chimney sweeping for your safety and in order to avoid chimney fire and fume hazards. It is advisable to sweep your chimney before any use, unless the previous owner provide you with a recent qualified sweep certificate. A chimney fire isn’t the kind of housewarming you want.

How long does the process take?

Depending on how many appliances you need sweeping. the length also depends on many factors including the state of the Flue. From arriving at the property, this process can take up to an hour, more or less. Blockages and birds nest might take longer.

Will you need to get on the roof?

No, all chimneys are now swept from the appliance access point and going onto the roof is no longer required.

How do I stop a bird coming down my chimney?

Our qualified Sweep will be able to advise you on a suitable terminal or guard for your chimney.

Why should I sweep a chimney before it is closed off?

Soot is highly corrosive and acidic especially when mixed with condensation. When a chimney is closed off, it can get damp. If any soot was left in the chimney, there is danger that it can turned to a black acidic slurry that, in an old chimney, can soak into the internal walls causing severe problems, additionally when bad enough, the damp can penetrate walls and cause unpleasant stains.

I have a flue liner, does it need sweeping?

Even though Flue liners are made of stainless steel, soot is highly acidic and corrosive especially when mixed with condensation. The longer soot is left inside the liner, the more time soot has to rust away your Flue liner. When not in in use, It is advisable to sweep the flue liner at the end of the burning season, so that soot is not left rusting your Flue liner. Soot when left in the liner, can soak into the internal walls causing severe problems, additionally the damp can penetrate walls and cause stains.

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To keep both you and your family safe, it is vital to sweep your chimney often in order to reduce risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and prevent chimney or house fire. Soot, creosol and other corrosive blockages can build up in your chimney, these are major cause of chimney fires. it is important to sweep your chimney, in order to keep your house safe


The latest statistics show that approximately, in England alone, there are 7,000 chimney fires a year. Most chimney fires are preventable if your chimney is often swept.


The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, Greater Manchester and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services, as well as Chimney Safe recommend that chimney are swept regularly. How often your chimney and appliances are swept, depends on the type of fuel used, below is a guide. 





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