Chester & Cheshire

Wood Burning Stove Owners Use Professional Chimney Sweeps

You might think that chimney sweeps are an antiquated trade which really don’t have much place in society today. In the olden days, having your chimney swept was like having someone around to clean up after you – people didn’t do their own chimneys in the olden days because they couldn’t be bothered. Add this thought to the fact that as we live in an age where absolutely every single penny matters, it can be tempting to break out the ladders, put on some old clothes and get up there to clean your chimney yourself in order to save money.  Wood burning Stove owners should know that cleaning your chimney yourself is a horrible idea in most cases.

Chimney fires, and the risk of experiencing one, is the biggest reason why you should never consider cleaning your chimney yourself. As a chimney is cleaned, a large amount of care and attention is paid to the buildup on the inside of the chimney, and if this buildup is not removed, it is very likely that it will catch fire, set your chimney alight, and force toxic fumes from this fire down into your house.

It is for this reason that home insurance providers will not honour insurance claims if they think you have cleaned your chimney yourself and the burden of proof falls upon yourself, as a homeowner, to prove that you have had professional chimney cleaning throughout the duration of your stove ownership. Insurance companies, when receiving a claim for stove and chimney related problems, will request receipts from chimney cleaners, dated no more than a year from each other before accepting claims.

It is important to consider that the duration between cleans is also very important. You can have the best possible job done from a professional chimney sweep, but this will mean nothing should you not have your chimney swept often enough. Generally, it is considered essential to have your chimney cleaned twice a year should you use a wood burning stove, and once a year should you use a multifuel type. To do otherwise puts your property at risk of chimney fire.

If this sobering thought wasn’t enough for you, it is also extremely hard to clean a chimney. There’s a reason why the Victorians bundled children down chimneys in order to get them cleaned – chimneys are very narrow, and it is very difficult to get the job done effectively as an adult. (Obviously, this is not done today for very many reasons, including child cruelty laws!)

In a nutshell, cleaning your chimney yourself is messy, arduous, potentially unsafe, and invalidates your insurance. It shouldn’t be considered, and to do so really is foolish.

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