FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IN THE CASE OF CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM:
If your CO alarm is beeping constantly YOU ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUT OUT THE FIRE. Get everyone out of the building immediately.
Contact the fire brigade. They have safety equipment that will allow them to enter the building and safely extinguish the fire, then ensure there is no CO remaining before you re-enter your home.
do not re-light your fire until you have had an inspection by a professional Chimney Sweep.
IN THE CASE OF CHIMNEY FIRES:
DO NOT THROW WATER ON A FIRE. CONTACT THE FIRE BRIGADE!
if you have a stove, close all the air inlets to cut off the oxygen supply.
if you have an open fire apply damp sand/earth. DO NOT THROW WATER DIRECTLY ONTO FLAMES.
Even if you feel you have been able to stop the chimney fire, always contact the fire brigade who will be able to detect hot spots and any continued smouldering that is otherwise undetectable.
Chimney Fires are usually a result of creosote or severe soot build-up. At the very least this will need to be removed but it is essential your chimney sweep can inspect the chimney for any damage that occurred during the chimney fire, and advise if any repairs are required before you can use the chimney again.
Q: How long does a sweep take?
On average it will take about an hour. If there is a problem meaning it will take longer, I will talk to you about it before proceeding. I have an hourly rate of £20 after an hour and a half, but this rarely happens unless there is a serious problem or if you have a difficult birds nest to remove.
For cost, see the prices page for more info.
Q: What if I think I have a bird nest?
Here in Wales, it is usually Jackdaws nesting in your chimney. Their nests can be removed legally providing they are not active (with eggs or chicks) so either before they lay eggs or after they have fledged, usually by the end of September. It is always a good idea to have a bird guard fitted once the nest has been removed because the Jackdaws will come back to the same nest site year after year, and they don't seem to mind re-building their huge nests (often enough to fill several sacks with twigs and usually taking about two hours to remove!)
Q: What happens during a sweep?
Clean, waterproof dustsheets are used and the fireplace is sealed to protect your home during the cleaning process. As well as removing deposits in the flue, I will be checking the appliance and flue for safety and will advise as necessary, at the end of the process you will receive a certificate of sweeping which will be recognised by insurance companies.
Q: Is there anything I need to do to prepare?
Just make sure there is clear space in front of the fireplace, I will dismantle the stove and protect the floor.
Rayburns and Agas running on anthracite can take up to 48 hours to completely cease burning. Sometimes, even if the stove is quite cool, there are still combustion fumes being emitted and this can be dangerous while the flue is being cleaned!
Q: How can I tell if Jackdaws are using my chimney?
They are numerous telltale signs to confirm nestings birds in chimneys. Debris falling down the chimney into your fireplace, sightings of adult birds bringing food etc. Often you can hear noise from the chicks, enter your loft and listen for calls. White splash on your roof near the chimney are other things to look for. Jackdaws can lay eggs as early as March. If you are in doubt, best wait until September.