03 Nov 2021

Although on the top of our to-do lists, often the most important tasks get left to the last minute. The chimney is a popular example of this. Typically, the fireplace only really gets used in the winter months, which is when qualified chimney sweeps are usually at their busiest.

Chimney cleaning may sound like an easy enough job, and you may be tempted to give it a go yourself. What many don’t know, is that this can be just as risky as hiring an unqualified sweep and can be very dangerous business. Tools, experience, and expertise to one side, we’ve listed some reasons why hiring a qualified chimney sweep is the best option.


What can go wrong with an unqualified sweep?

The fireplace often sits at the heart of your home and is not an area you want to be taking risks with. We all know how dangerous fire can be and the consequences could cost you more than just your house.

An unqualified sweep is often less experienced and may not have the knowledge and attention to detail that a qualified chimney sweep would. Due to the nature of the job, a rushed sweep or cut corners can be detrimental. Debris may be left in the chimney resulting in fire, and untreated gaps, cracks and damage could lead to carbon monoxide issues.

 flue lined in creosote

This flue is lined in creosote, the is highly flammable and poses a high fire risk – not mentioned on previous sweeps


Why an experienced professional is best

Any professional chimney sweep will tell you that no two chimneys are the same. Years of experience means that a qualified chimney sweep can spot any potential hazards and issues right away, some of which you may have never noticed yourself. Being able to spot issues sooner than later can effectively save you money on repairs in the long run.


Top quality tools make all the difference

A professional chimney sweep will have access to state-of-the-art tools that allow them to thoroughly clean and inspect your chimney. High-tech camera systems allow the sweep to look at every element of the chimney in great detail and quality brushes allow for deep cleaning. It goes without saying this equipment is incredibly expensive and are only common amongst professional qualified chimneysweeps.


What can I expect from a qualified sweep?

During their visit, a chimney sweep will carry out a full inspection of every element within the fireplace and chimney. This is something that all qualified sweeps have been trained to do.

A sweeps job is to ensure that the chimney is safe and in full working order for at least the next 12 months following the inspection. Should the sweep identify any issues within the chimney, it’s their job to report them to the homeowner alongside any advisable further inspections.

It is also important to note that you cannot check a sweep’s work.

It’s key that you check your sweep’s qualifications and feel you can trust the knowledge and level of expertise that they have. Qualifications aren’t always mandatory, but they do exist. A qualification confirms that the sweep has been independently checked and is certified, which is exactly what your after when it comes to fire safety.

Finding the best chimney sweep

To ensure that you find the best chimney sweep in your area, here are a few pointers –

  • Book your chimney sweep early for the best chance of getting booked in ready for the Autumn and Winter months.
  • Check their insurance. Should any accidents happen, you need to be covered.
  • Look for the NVQ qualified mark.
  • Read their online reviews. Google and Facebook testimonials are a great place to start as you’ll know they’re from genuinely satisfied previous customers.

To book your winter chimney service get in touch with the SweepSmart team today.