Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need my chimney sweeping?

Chimney sweeping is an age old profession introduced to remove soot from a chimney, initially using young children to climb the chimney and brush the soot or scrape tar from the walls. This was replaced by the use of rods and brushes in the early 18th century which are still used today.

In simple terms, the smoke that comes from a fire carries non combusted material such as carbon (soot). As smoke works its way up the flue carrying the soot, it deposits itself to the lining of the flue until eventually there is quite an even coating. Because the soot has not combusted, it is still flammable. Therefore it is important to remove it, to reduce the occurrence of a chimney fire.

Also, the more soot that is deposited on the wall of a flue will eventually reduce the size of it, making a fire or appliance burn less efficiently. This starts a spiralling circle, as the less efficient a fire is, it smokes more. This creates more soot and makes the fire even less efficient and so on until the flue gets completely blocked! This is more common in wood burners where a flue liner can be as small as 5” in diameter.

A chimney may be blocked by other means, such as a birds nest, builder’s rubble, animals or anything else that decides to reside in a nice warm place! Sometimes this can be avoided by having a bird guard fitted, but if not, it is always advisable to have a chimney swept before the burning season in order to make sure the smoke can evacuate from the house efficiently via the chimney.

How often should a chimney be swept?

In accordance with the Guild Of Master Sweeps along with Hampshire Fire and Rescue service, a chimney should be swept as detailed below.

  • Solid Fuel Appliances - swept once per year for smokeless fuel and twice per year for coal
  • Wood Burning Appliances - swept every three months when in use
  • Gas Appliances - once every year if designed for sweeping
  • Oil Fired Appliances - once per year

How much does a sweep cost?

Standard chimney sweeps costs start from £70. We offer multi chimney discounts. Please feel free to discuss this when you book your sweep. It is a good idea to get your chimney swept in the spring/summer months to be prepared for the winter and avoid the winter rush.

Do you clean stoves and wood burners?

Yes. Please contact us for a quote.

It is very important to regularly have your stove/wood burner flue cleaned. It can be seen from the debris removed from the flue how efficiently the appliance is working and whether suitable fuel is being used.  Please be aware that all appliances should be fitted in accordance with the current building regulations (doc J). More information can be given during the visit.

Do you fit Bird Guards and Cowls?

Yes. Bird guard and cowl fitting service is available. Please contact us for details. We can arrange to have chimney pots fitted too.

Should I fit a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Yes. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is another reason why a chimney should be swept. A blocked or partially blocked flue could prevent fuel from combusting or gasses escaping properly, thus causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless so is very hard to detect. It is highly recommended that a carbon monoxide detector is fitted in your house to prevent illness, or in the worst case scenario death.

Do you provide an Industry Standard Certificate

Yes. Being a member of the Guild Of Master Sweeps, all appliances and open fires are cleaned to the highest standard with a Guild of Master Sweeps certificate issued for all chimneys swept.

Registration CertificateSample Certificate

Do you have Public Liability Insurance?

Yes. In the very unlikely event that there should be an accident or mishap, Goodfires Chimney Sweeping carries public liability insurance up to £2,500,000.

Do you remove bees from chimneys?

IMPORTANT: This service has unfortunately been temporarily suspended by Goodfires and hopefully will resume in the future. We can however recommend a bee removal specialist should you have a problem with bees.

Why is it important to use well seasoned wood?

It is imperative to use wood that has a moisture content of less than 20%. If the wood is unseasoned or damp it will smoke and not give off any heat. If the wood continuously smokes through a burning season it will form tar on the chimney/flue which cannot be brushed off and can only be removed by using chemicals or smokeless coal. Tar on chimneys is one of the biggest causes of chimney fires in the UK which is why it is imperative to use well seasoned wood!

How can you find out the moisture content? The only guaranteed way is to use a ‘moisture meter’ which are available on line or in hardware shops.