Frequently asked questions

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Will sweeping my chimneys cause a mess?

No, we are meticulous in containing all dust, protecting the surrounding areas and cleaning up when we’re done. We recognise that we are working in your home and treat it with the utmost respect.

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Why do I need to get my chimney swept?

The simple answer is to remove waste material. What that waste material is, depends on what you use (or don’t use) your chimney for. If you are burning solid fuel, deposits such as soot and creosote will build up. If you aren’t currently using your chimney for a fire, then it is a good idea to get the chimney swept to remove all the dust and debris that results from the degrading of the chimney lining and mortar joints.

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What will happen if this waste material isn’t removed?

In the worst case scenarios, waste deposits of soot and creosote can cause chimney fires. When coal soot deposits or wood tar deposits build up to a sufficient level there is the risk of a chimney fire. The heat from the fire warms the deposits releasing the combustible volatiles until they ignite. Other problems caused by waste deposits in chimneys include damp problems.

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How often should I get my chimney swept?

If you are using your chimney, you should get it swept at least once a year. We issue a certificate to state that your chimney has been swept, so if in the very unfortunate event of a chimney fire you could demonstrate to your insurance company that you had maintained your flue appropriately. However, if your fire is used for more than just the occasional evening fire and at weekends, you should consider getting it swept again midway through the season.

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I only use my chimney with a gas fire, does this also need sweeping?

Gas fires dry out the chimney to such an extent that the cement mortar and lining starts to degrade. This results in fine dust being produced. Over time, this builds up significantly and can result in a chimney becoming blocked or damage to the gas fire. It is therefore vital that chimneys/flues that are used for gas fires are swept once a year.

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How can you reduce the production of creosotes in fires?

The best way to reduce the problem of creosotes in chimneys is to burn dry wood and ensure that your fire is burning at high temperature.

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Why will I get damp problems if I don’t sweep my chimney?

Houses with open fires were designed to allow for a flow of air through the house using the chimneys as the outlet for warm air. If your chimney is blocked or has excessive amount so debris in them, the flow of air is impeded and your house is not ventilated in the way intended. Also, the lack of air flow through the chimneys is likely to result in condensation forming within the flue, which when combined with soot deposits can cause an acid mixture that is both corrosive and invasive.

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When is the best time to get my chimney swept?

The best time is in the spring or summer when you have finished using it. By getting it swept at this time, you are assured that it is safe and ready to use by the time the cold weather returns. Also, September to March is our busiest period and our available slots get booked up very quickly.

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Can you do CCTV inspections of my chimney?

Yes, we have the technology to complete a video inspection of your chimney. This can be recorded a series of still images or as a video. It will identify the cause of any blockage of other problem you are having with your chimney and will give you a clear idea of any further remedial works you will need to undertake.

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What areas do you work in?

See Areas Covered. We cover all of South London and the other parts  of London and Kent that can be reached within 40 minutes of our base . We are based in Nunhead,  but also have a large customer base in Dulwich, Brockley, Forest Hill, Herne Hill, Brixton, Battersea and Clapham. We also have a growing client base in East London, including Hackney, Bromley by Bow, Whitechapel, Bethnel Green and Old Ford. If you live outside these areas, we will travel further afield but may require for there to be more than one  one chimney to sweep to make it worthwhile.

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Do you give a discount for sweeping more than one chimney?

Yes, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss discounts with you.

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Your prices for an open fire are from £65. Why did you quote me more than that to sweep my chimney?

Prices vary depending on a number of factors including: When the chimney was last swept, how high your property is and whether there is controlled parking outside your house. Obviously, not all fireplaces or chimneys are the same and we price accordingly. We try hard to be consistent and fair in our pricing and always make sure that the customer is happy with the price quoted.

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Why are unlined stoves charged at a higher price than lined stoves?

Lined stoves burn much more efficiently than unlined stoves and therefore produce less soot. What soot that is produced is contained within the liner making it easier and quicker to clean. Unlined stoves need to be cleaned through an access hatch in the register plate; due to this, protecting the surrounding area is more time consuming, as is cleaning the build up of soot on the register plate. Basically, the work involved in sweeping the chimney of an unlined stove is much more time consuming!

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The fire bricks in my stove are cracked, is this a problem?

Generally, cracked fire bricks aren’t a problem if they are are in the side, bottom or back of the stove. As long as they fit snugly together, they will still do their job of protecting the metal body of the stove from getting too hot. However, if the top brick – the baffle is cracked it is almost always best to get it replaced as soon as possible.

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The fire bricks broke when you removed them to clean the stove, will you replace them for free?

I am afraid not! Fire bricks have to be removed to clean the stove correctly and if they break during removal it indicates that they were defective. The fire bricks are considered consumable items. Being exposed to high temperatures, they will eventually crack and break and can be replaced – See our Stove Maintenance Price List.

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What other stove maintenance services do you provide?

The most common services we are called on to provide are: Replacing the door rope, re-cementing the stove pipe in place, re-blacking the stove, replacing broken glass and replacing fire bricks.

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Do you install stoves?

Yes we do. We are HETAS registered and are qualified to install stoves and open fires. Our HETAS registration means that we self certificate our work and notify building control on your behalf.

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When you swept my stove/chimney, your certificate said that it wasn’t installed to meet building regulations – what was wrong with it?

To meet building regulations, stoves need to be installed in accordance with part J of the Building Regulations. There are a number of consideration to ensure stoves are installed appropriately and this is all to do with your health and safety. If there are any problems with your stove installation whereby it doesn’t meet regulations, we are happy to outline any issues, discuss it with you and to offer a quote for any remedial work.

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