These are some of the questions we have been commonly asked. If you have a question that is not covered here, why not email us, and we will do our best to answer.
Q: How often should I have my chimney swept?
A: Once a year if you use smokeless fuels, bitumous coal or if an oil or gas based appliance is used in the flue. Twice a year if you burn wood, and every 3 months during heavy usage periods. This is based on average household usage.
Q: Why does my chimney smoke every time I light a fire?
A: The chimney is probably blocked by soot, bird debris or masonry. It should be swept without delay.
Q: Why does the chimney smoke sometimes when the fire is lit?
A: It can happen on a windy day, but it might also happen if your room is not ventilated enough. You could try opening a window slightly to see if that cures the problem. If it does, you need to provide more ventilation to the room.
Q: When should I get my chimney swept?
A: You can have your chimney swept any time of the year. Most people tend to leave it until March/April or Sep/Oct, which is when we are at our busiest and waiting times can be long!
Q: How do I need to prepare for a sweep?
A: Empty the grate of ashes and other debris and move away any hearth furniture and companion sets. Although we will use our own dustsheets, you can if you wish cover the immediate area, or your own furniture with your own dustsheets.
Q: How much dust is likely to be caused by the job?
A: Very little. We seal the chimney aperture before we start and, whilst we are brushing, we use an industrial vacuum to hoover up the soot. We take every care to provide a clean and efficient service.
Q: What happens to the soot?
A: Once it has been bagged from the vacuum we can either dispose of it in your own bin, or leave it with you (it has some great gardening properties) or for a small additional charge we can take it away and dispose of it for you. Sometimes local gardeners request soot from us and where that is the case we will not charge you for disposal.
Q: What areas do you cover?
A: We cover a 10 mile radius around Maidenhead (more by special arrangement). Click here for further details.
Q: What can go wrong?
A: Chimney sweeping is safe and we are well trained in our trade. Problems are rare, but if we are going to encounter a problem, it will nearly always be with the chimney pots. A good chimney pot will easily stand up to brushing. If a pot is damaged or weak though, it could break under sweeping. We always carry out a visual inspection with binoculars before we start and if we are in any doubt we will not sweep. If a pot does break under sweeping, we are not liable for the cost of replacement of that or any related damage that may occur. We have good local builders who can advise you on pot replacement and other external work for a competitive price.
Q: What do you charge for chimney sweeping?
A: A single domestic chimney costs £50. Additional chimneys are charged at £45. Our prices include external visual inspection, stack condition report, sweep, vacuum and flue inspection. Soot removal costs £2 where we have to dispose of it, or is free when we have adequate demand from local gardeners.
Q: What is the best wood to use in fires?
A: Ash. Oak is good too, and aged beech, hawthorn & apple wood. Avoid poplar, larch, birch, elm and fir.