Before you hire a chimney sweep to clean out your fireplace flue or chimney, you should consider asking yourself a couple of questions. First of all, do you think you can perform the same tasks without requiring the expertise of a professional? A chimney sweep probably won’t volunteer to clean out your collection of ashes or clean the visible portions of your fireplace or chimney. These kinds of minor tasks can be very messy and time-consuming, but an industrious homeowner can maybe do just as near well as a professional, providing they have the right cleaning equipment available.
If you’ve been burning wood for a number of months, especially oily firewood such as pine, you’ll definitely need an expert chimney sweep to remove the build-up of a natural substance called creosote. Creosote is released when the firewood burns and clings to the inner walls of the flue or chimney. Dissimilar to soot, creosote cannot be so easily removed with just a wire brush alone, and should the accumulated creosote and soot become hot enough, it can often result in a chimney fire. So, if you regularly burn oily firewood and suspect a build-up of creosote, definitely contact professional chimney sweeps in West Sussex. They will probably use chemicals in addition to brushes to break up the hardened creosote.
Credentials and Availability
Before you hire a chimney sweep, you may want to ask for the company’s credentials or the sweep’s level of training and skills. Chimney cleaning companies should belong to national standards associations with strict guidelines concerning training and services. Regrettably, the higher increase in recent demand for chimney cleaning services has seen a number of fly-by-night operations. A professionally trained chimney sweep should do more than simply run a wire brush up a chimney several times and leave. Check online for reviews and testimonials to give you peace of mind.
The other consideration is availability. Many customers try to hire one during the summer or autumn months so as to prepare for the oncoming cold weather. So, be prepared and book an appointment as soon as possible. Those homes with a heavy dependency on wood burning fires may need up to three or four cleanings throughout the colder months. So, ask them about availability and all should be fine.
The Perfect Job
If there are concerns about the cost, try to find a chimney sweep who only does cleanings and inspections, not repairs. Unscrupulous sweeps who work for larger companies may suddenly discover several other problems during a cleaning session, which can leave the owner vulnerable to additional services. A respectable and trustworthy sweep should have state-of-the-art inspection equipment and cleaning tools, but will not transform the cleaning session into a launching point for upgrades and general repairs. It’s not improper for a good chimney cleaner to point out potential hazards during an inspection, but it is up to the homeowner if they want them to be carried out.
Using a professional will make all the difference and give you the serenity of mind that you wish for.