Chimney sweeping is an ancient profession which saw a decline when modern conveniences such as central heating started to replace coal and wood burning fires to heat homes.
However, chimney sweeping never went away as people still enjoy gas fires, but in recent years demand for chimney sweeping services has increased as people look for cheaper ways to heat their homes with the return to open fires and wood burning stoves.
With the return to old fashioned fireplaces and wood burning stoves a home owner needs to dedicate a little time and money to ensuring that a fireplace functions both safely and efficiently.
How a Fireplace Works:
As a fire burns in a fireplace, air from the room is sucked through the grate to fuel the fire. This is why it is so important to have an air vent within the same room as your fireplace. As the fire burns it releases gases which travel up the chimney and out of the house. As these gases move through the chimney they leave deposits of soot and a flammable substance called creosote. Over a period of time these deposits build up and can completely block the chimney.
Blockages in your chimney cause gases to become trapped and as mentioned above the creosote deposits are flammable and could cause a fire if not removed.
Is it Possible to Clean a Chimney Yourself?
If you wish to clean your chimney yourself you will need to devote a day to this task, it requires lots of patience and the correct equipment, including the correct vacuum cleaner which can now be hired from DIY stores. As this is a very messy task your room will need covering with plastic sheets or dust sheets.
If you are not able to see far enough up your chimney to know whether you have cleared all blockages it is best to get a professional chimney sweeper in.
When choosing to maintain your own chimney you need to be aware you have to check for damage and cracks, you may be able to patch up small cracks but if you wish to tackle larger cracks you will need the aid of a good DIY manual.
If you think this is more than you are capable of doing yourself, call a professional in such as ourselves.