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  • Traditional chimney brushes
  • Advanced technology vacuum
  • Inglenooks
  • Wood buring stoves
  • Multi-fuel stoves
  • Aga/solid fuel stoves
  • Gas fires
  • Chimney Pot Installation
  • Cowls fitted
  • Smoke testing
  • Certificates issued

Click on the options below to view frequently asked questions and answers regarding chimney sweeping and general chimney maintenance:

Why Sweep Chimneys?

When burning wood, coal or oil the products of combustion pushes into the flue. Some of the smoke condenses and attaches itself to the flue wall. Over a period of time the build up of soot needs to be swept clean to reduce the risk of chimney fires. Nests, birds, wasps & bees, cobwebs, falling mortarfrom the chimney lining... these can all prevent safe evacuation of the smoke.

How Often Should I Have My Chimney Swept?

The table below describes how often you should have your chimney swept depending on the type of fire you have:

Smokless Fuel
Once per year
twice per year
Wood Burning
Quarterly - when in use
Once per year if designed for chimney sweeping
Oil Fired
Once per year


Why Does My Fire Smoke Back?

There are a number of reasons:

  • There could be a blockage or partial blockage in the chimney (bird, bird’s nest, even soot).
  • Sometimes, when out of use for long periods, chimneys become cold, even damp, reducing the updraft or creating a downdraft. Ventilation to the room may also be a contributing factor.
  • The size of the fireplace opening may be too large for the size of the flue, a much more common occurrence.
  • The terminal (pot) may be sited in a position where downdraft will occur.


Do I Need More Air Into The Room?

Open fireplaces need plenty of oxygen to fuel the fire, but at the same time a greater amount of air is drawn over the fire into the chimney. Typically, a fire with a large opening requires nearly 300 cubic metres per hour, whereas a closed appliance (stove) may require only a fraction of that amount.

How Much Mess Will There Be?

Hardly any. Most fireplaces are screened by the chimney sweep and the chimney is then cleaned through the screen. A vacuum cleaner clears the fine dust and the heavier particles are kept behind the screen and cleaned after sweeping.

How Long Does It Take to Sweep a Chimney?

We normally allow 45 minutes to clean a fire, but this may depend on whether there are any difficulties. Our charge covers up to an hour, so if a chimney has a difficult bird’s nest to remove it may take longer.

Bits of Mortar Are Falling Down

It is an indication that the original liner (pargetting) is deteriorating. Once swept a visual inspection will determine whether the flue would require re-lining.

Does My Chimney Require a Cowl?

A well constructed chimney with a suitable pot will not necessarily need a cowl, however dependent on weather conditions and the siting of the pot, a cowl to prevent downdrafts may be needed. If there is a large population of birds in the area, a ‘high top’ bird guard may be fitted to stop nesting in the fire but still allow a brush to pass through the pot.

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Waltham Abbey chimney sweep covering Essex, Herts & London