Will your chimney go up in smoke or flames this winter?

I’ve just had my chimney swept and of course I should have done it ages ago because like so many other things this is a job that needs doing annually.  However, having been witness a few months ago to a neighbour’s fire disaster, when the chimney went up in flames and the fire brigade had to be called out, I took this advice seriously.

So how do you know if your chimney needs sweeping?
  • Specks of soot dropping into the fireplace.
  • Tar deposits visible in the chimney or stove as well as a strong odour coming from the fireplace.
  • Draught or smoking problems with the chimney.
  • If you have just moved into a new home and want to use the chimney. Animals nesting (squirrels and birds) which can cause fire hazards.
How often should your chimney be cleaned?

The answer depends on what fuel is used in your chimney and how often you use it:

  • Chimneys with solid fuel appliances – smokeless fuels / biomass at least once a year / House coal – at least twice a year
  • Chimneys with wood burning appliances – quarterly when in use
  • Chimneys with gas or oil appliances – once a year

Remember even your central heating flue needs to be cleaned from time to time, especially if you use oil. Check with an expert for guidance.

Logs – One size does not fit all 

It’s important that the length of the pieces must be suitable for your stove, wood  burner or fireplace. Shorter pieces are easier to handle and preferable to pieces that are too long for the appliance. Pieces that are even slightly too long can  make fire stoking difficult or impossible.  Our firewood suppliers will provide the right wood for your needs.

How a cushion can keep your room warm and cosy

When the job was done, and thankfully there were no birds nesting in the chimney, I mentioned how the room gets draughty and cold in the winter and my chimney sweep gave me a great handy tip which I shall share with you.

When the chimney is not in use get an old cushion or pillow and push it up into the chimney breast, opening it out to stop the air (but not jammed tightly to stop any circulation).  Keep it just visible so you don’t forget to remove it when you light the fire.

When you want to use the fire place, gently remove the cushion or pillow using a large bin bag to grab the sides and place the cushion inside thereby collecting the sooty cushion without getting ash everywhere.

Result warm and cosy room.

This is the busiest time of the year for chimney sweepers so book yours early.

At scuseme we have friendly local chimney sweepers that we use ourselves and who have customers who have been using them for years.   They are meticulous about keeping things clean and are competitively priced.  They provide a certificate of chimney sweeping in accordance with the national industry standard as registered members of the  National Association of Chimney Sweeps.

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