“There’s no point doing it now. It’s been fine so far… we’ll just get it done before we start using it again.”
As spring starts appearing on the horizon, it’s tempting to push all thoughts of having your chimney swept until later in the year.
But if you last had your flue swept 12 months ago or more, now is precisely the time you should get it done.
Because the longer you leave it, the worse it is getting.
Even if you are using the correct fuels and burning at the correct temperature, soot builds up in your chimney. Soot is not only acidic (so attacks brickwork and liners), but it is also flammable. It’s no surprise therefore that more chimney fires happen at this time of year than any other.
I always strongly advise against ‘skipping’ a sweep. It’s very tempting, especially if you can’t see any visible difference in how your fire is working. But most issues to do with chimneys aren’t picked up by customers at all, or not until the point where they become serious.
Some ‘hidden’ issues which can build up over time include:
- Tar in the chimney (see main photo)
- Fallen wildlife (pigeons/squirrels etc)
- Leaking flues, causing potential carbon monoxide risks
- Dangerous levels of soot build up, which is a fire hazard
The good news is that there’s usually a remedy available, but it some cases this will require works to the flue. There’s no better time to have these done during months when you’re not using the fire.
If you leave it until autumn/winter, the weather gets worse and the availability of solid fuel professionals becomes more restricted in what is a busy time of year.
12 months is a long time in the life of the chimney. It takes a real battering from all the heat and gases during the burning season. As sweeps, we often say that if people looked up their chimneys as often as they peered through their windows, they’d get them swept without question much more often.
Don’t be blind to the dangers which can lurk in your chimney. Stay safe and stay ahead of the curve – book a sweep today!
Mr Soot Chimney Sweep is a HETAS Approved Sweep, and member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, offering a professional and friendly chimney sweep and stove service in Wigan, Stockport, St Helens, Ormskirk, Chorley and surrounding areas. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.