How Do I Know When My Chimney Needs Sweeping?
Any appliance burning wood, coal or smokeless fuel should be swept at least annually, but you need to keep an eye out for signs that your chimney is not getting too dirty in between. Your chimney sweep will advise you on when your next chimney sweep will be required, but you can also look out for these signs yourself:
- Smoke is being blown back into the room
- There is a strong sooty smell even when you have not lit the fire
- You can see signs of tar/soot build up around the fireback or flue entrance
- The stove glass constantly keeps getting dirty
- Soot is frequently falling back into your stove or fire
- Your fire is not burning as well as usual
- You can see birds around the top of your chimney or hear scratching – there may be a nest (Nests can only be removed once the nesting season is finished usually around the end of August)
If you notice any of these signs, a chimney sweep or inspection is probably necessary. The best advise now is not to use your open fire or wood burning stove until it has been inspected and swept.
If you do not have your chimney swept, you are putting yourself, your family and even your neighbours at risk of chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. The build-up of soot, creosote and tar can block the flue, preventing fumes from escaping and could potentially ignite under heat. Creosote is a thick black substance that is caused by burning solid fuel. It forms when fire is burnt too slowly or burns incompletely. When the smoke cools and sticks to your chimney wall it turns into creosote.
Without an inspection by a professional chimney sweep, cracks and corrosion could also lead to other flammable debris falling into your chimney. Cracks can also lead to you getting damp in your chimney, which can cause several problems to your home, both internal and external.
Howards (Tarleton) is your local, friendly professional chimney sweep covering Southport, Ormskirk, Formby, Preston, Lytham, and surrounding areas.
Tel: 01772 812714 or Click here to contact us