Sweeping

Chimney fires are a reality;  for your peace of mind,  your families safety and to comply with most insurance policies you should have your chimney swept at least once a year by a registered chimney sweep.  Generally a chimney sweep with a certificate is £45 – £75. Burning hard woods in you wood burner rather than soft woods is recommended. They burn slower, making them more economical and they also make the fire burn hotter.This reduces the amount of creosote deposited inside the chimney, which will help keep your chimney cleaner for longer.

Maintenance and Repairs

Annual maintenance is an important part of keeping your wood burning stove in a safe working condition. The stove should be thoroughly cleaned  and inspected for faults.  Fire Rope will need replacing every 4-5 years depending on usage and all flue joint should be inspected and checked for leaks.  Any repairs should be carried out immediately.

Cleaning

Cleaning your stove starts with the removal of ash from the stove body, all internal grates, the fire bricks and baffle plate.  Once removed, the baffle plate is cleaned and inspected, then the flue is swept. The soot that has been removed is checked for consistency and correct burning procedure.  Burning wood incorrectly or burning wet wood results in flaky deposits, rather than a fine soot being left in the flue.  If spotted during the sweep, we will discuss the best methods for burning fuel.  Assuming all checks are Ok and no further maintenance is required, all of the internal components are reinstalled and the glass cleaned.

At all times be aware of your fire. If its starts to act differently at anytime, for eg a fire that is burning more slowly than usual can be sign of a partially blocked chimney, have it looked at immediately.

• When you light your fire the flames will draw air from your room and with other gases created by the fire will rise up your chimney. As they begin to cool deposits such as soot and the flammable substance called creosote, begin to build up on the walls.

• Left unchecked these can build up to such extents that the chimney can become completely blocked and this can lead to inefficiency and very unsafe fireplace resulting in chimney fires, which can very easily spread through the house. So it is very beneficial and gives peace of mind knowing your chimney is been well maintained.

• Most chimney sweeps will be trained and certified to notice problems which might lead to chimney fires or inefficient burning and will be able to, in most cases fix them quite easily.

• Experienced chimney sweeps will usually inspect your chimney from the roof. It is recommended that you don’t try this yourself as it is potentially dangerous and in extreme cases fatal. They would be able to see things that your untrained eye could miss, such as frost shattering.

• Finding and repairing problems early will save you in the long run. Also having your chimney inspected at least once a year may also prevent problems occurring in the future.

• At least once a year. Chimney sweeps usually advise that chimneys ought to be cleaned after a period of prolonged disuse (over the summer for example). Many also advise that chimneys should be cleaned before the end of the heating season to ensure that the chimney is clear of animal nests and prepared for the subsequent idle period.

• If a chimney is used very often, it might be necessary to sweep it more often. A professional chimney sweep would be able to advise the optimum cleaning schedule for your chimney. To be sure that you and your family are always safe and to conform to insurance terms and conditions it is fully recommended that you have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep at least once a year.

At all time be aware of your fire. If its starts to act differently at anytime, for eg a fire that is burning more slowly than usual can be sign of a partially blocked chimney, have it looked at immediately.

Do not burn anything that has been treated, painted or is not a natural product or a product specifically made to burn in a fireplace or log burner. Purchase a good guard for your fireplace. A fire with a well-functioning chimney is still unsafe if sparks from the fireplace come into contact with a carpet or furniture. Ensuring that your wood burner is installed by a HETAS registered fitter will mean that the installation works efficiently,complies with building regulations , increases safety and reduces costs.