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Chimney Sweeping Information

Chimney sweep brush

Appointments may be from 30 to 40 minutes for a small lined stove and up to 2 and a half hours for one large unlined stove, Birds nest removals can take many hours if they have been left for years or access is poor. I will never compromise service quality or your safety in an effort to save time!

Failure to follow guidelines on sweep intervals may invalidate your home insurance and above all, risk your safety!

Chimney Sweeping intervals for chimneys in regular use as approved by APICS, the Solid fuels Association and HETAS are as follows:

  • Wood burning fires, every 3 months
  • Domestic bituminous Coal, twice annually
  • Oil fired Appliances, every 12 months (and serviced by an OFTEC engineer)
  • Gas fired Appliances, every 12 months (and serviced by a GAS SAFE engineer)
  • Smokeless fuels, every 12 months

The primary causes are: a lack of chimney sweeping, poorly seasoned firewood (moisture content above 17%) and Damp Coal.

Each year many British people are killed by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, fitting an alarm could save your life! Ask us for advice. We also provide a fitting service.

Having a stainless steel liner fitted to your chimney may make it cheaper to sweep but does not stop a chimney needing sweeping at the same regular intervals. A chimney fire in such a liner will burn at very high temperatures and as such damage the liner.

Mixing Smokeless fuels and wood can cause permanent damage to your 316L grade stainless steel liner which may not last 3 years from new. Use one or the other, but not both together. The fact that you have a ‘multi fuel’ appliance doesn’t make any difference. If you do wish to mix fuel types consider fitting a ceramic liner or the more expensive 904 grade stainless steel liner.

Birds nesting in a chimney can cause real problems for home owners in Devon. Mostly the culprits are Jackdaws, these birds can fill chimney tops with twigs and other debris to a depth of 4 metres in a day or two! David Balchin Chimney Sweep offers a Birds Nest Removal Service. Whist these birds are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Nests maybe removed during the breeding season only if the chimney is the only source of hot water or heating to a household. In other circumstances one must wait until the chicks are fully fledged (August to September onwards).

NO, I don't currently use power sweeping, power sweeping involves using a powerful electric drill connected to either a chain flail or a type of strimmer.

Whilst power sweeping can be just as effective as traditional rods and brushes at cleaning very solid round flues such as FuranFlex, solid clay and solid twin-wall chimneys.

I am seeing a number of customers coming over to use me due to damage caused to their chimneys by competitors who have been using rotary power sweeping.

Sometimes this can be put down to poor installation of flexible liners and / or poor condition.

The damage tends mostly to be to Flexible stainless steel liners, Old cob and lime mortar chimneys. As much of my work is sweeping flexible Stainless steel liners and old limed chimneys are too delicate.

I carry a vast selection of rods and brushes to ensure I can look after your chimney with the minimum of wear.


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