Chimney Sweep Best Practices
What your Chimney Sweep should be doing.
If you have a regular Chimney Sweep you may sometimes wonder whether he or she is doing a good job. The nature of the work means it is often difficult to know what is actually going on up there.
This is a guide to some of the basic principles your Chimney Sweep should take in order to protect your home from falling soot and clean the flue to a good standard ensuring there is no obstacles.
The sweep from start to finish should take between 45 minutes and 1 hour as a minimum, anything less than that may meen corners are being cut and the sweep is not complete.
Sheeting up takes around 15minutes maybe longer depending on the circumstances, your sweep must take precautions to protect your home, which means floor sheets and runners from the front door to the fires location, and sheeting to cover the stove or the fire opening. This will prevent any soot escaping from any kind of accidental spillages or falling soot.
The vacuum used must be an industrial type with HEPA filter, “Do not except a Henri Vacuum” or any domestic vacuum type, as good as they are, they are not capable of doing the job Chimney Sweeps need to do. This will ensure the Sweeps contain 99% of the microscopic particles entering the vacuum drum. Otherwise with a none industrial vacuum without a HEPA filter those particles will circulate in your home and you will breath them in. Not only polluting the atmosphere but damaging your lungs and everyone in the house.
Make sure the Sweep checks the brush can be seen exiting the Chimney Pot from street level, to be sure we advise you also confirm it has exited. This will ensure the Sweep has swept the full length of the fuel system. It does not ensure they have cleaned it sufficiently, and you should take note of the time spent sweeping.
Once the sweep has swept and removed the brushes, a smoke draw test must be conducted. A Smoke Draw test with gage the amount of air flowing through the flue. A good draw will translate into a good working fire, as enough air will be flowing through the flue to feed the fire. An adequate draw will translate into an adequate working fire, and a poor draw will translate into a poor working fire.
Please note the draw of your flue may be affected by elements outside of the Chimney Sweeps work, such as atmospheric conditions, which can affect the draw.
So, given it takes around 15 minutes to sheet up 10-15 minutes sweeping, and clearing away, removing vacuum, and sheets etc. plus the time spent issuing a certificate anything less than 45 minutes is pushing the boundaries of inefficient sweep.