Chimney sweeping is still to this day an important part of chimney maintenance and with the majority of UK properties containing a fireplace, it is an ever-booming industry. With it being such a specialised area of work, it requires a certain level of skill and experience which begs the question, what exactly does a chimney sweep do?
What does a chimney sweep do?
The job of a chimney sweep is to clean chimneys that have open fire stoves, clean and clear flues for heating systems and ensure that chimney fires or leaking dangerous gases don’t occur. They are also likely to have a vast knowledge surrounding chimneys from how to safely operate and maintain them as well as how to properly install flues, flue liners and other related appliances.
How do they sweep a chimney?
The process of cleaning or ‘sweeping’ a chimney can vary based on its condition. However, generally the process will often involve the insertion of brushes that are pushed throughout the chimney using rods that extend the length of the flue. These are then brushed against the walls until all debris, residue and soot has been removed. At this point a specialised industrial vacuum is used to remove everything that has fallen from the chimney. In some cases, work may need to be carried out via the roof with specialised equipment- all of which a chimney sweep will have with them. Once the job is complete – provided the chimney sweep is a member of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps, they should then present the home owner with a certificate of chimney sweeping.
Are working environments as bad as they used to be?
When you think of chimney sweep generally the image is an individual saturated in soot without any proper protective measures in place. Whilst this was common in the 1700’s now there are strict rules and regulations in place which protect workers from such conditions. It is a job like any other, usually self-employed and able to determine their own hours as chimney sweep creates their own work. That being said, it is important that chimney sweeps bring their own protective wear such as dust masks and overalls to protect against any loose debris and soot.
What does it take to become a Chimney Sweep?
To be a chimney sweep there are many criteria that you must fit some of which have been listed here;
- Be in good health without any pre-existing respiratory issues
- Be physically fit with good energy levels
- Be able to work with a range of equipment
- Be able to adapt to different working conditions
- Be able to take the initiative and work solo
- Be able to climb ladders and be at great heights without any reservations
- Be aware of the rules and regulations regarding your practice always
- Be approachable and friendly with customers
- Be able to effectively manage and organise your time
- Be able to manage your taxes and accounts as a freelance worker
- Be able to be professional and consistent with your quotes, costs and invoices
Still think it’s for you? If you are in London or the South East and fancy a challenge then talk to us! If, on the other hand, you just want your chimney sweeping then call us today on 0207 971 1242 and let our experienced and qualified team take the strain.