There are many reasons to have your chimney Swept and current industry standards recommend that you chimney sweep at least once a year. See below for guidance on your fuel type.
- Bituminous coal at least twice per year
- Smokeless Fuels once per year
- Wood quarterly when in use
- Oil once per year
- Gas once per year.
The simple answer is the fuel you burn leaves residue. Dependant on what you burn and how often will affect the residue you see. If you burn wood this should ideally have a moisture content of less than 20% or this can lead to a creosote. This is often not the case and over time this residue builds up and has an effect on the fire or stove at the bottom of the chimney operates.
Chimney Fires: The residue left behind can itself become flammable. Although in 2013-14 saw an overall drop in chimney fires there are still several thousand fires throughout the UK each year. Due to the high temperatures during chimney fires the fire not only damages the chimney & flue but can also move into nearby roof trusses & joists and cause considerable property damage.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning: The silent killer results from blocked or leaking flues allowing combustion by products to escape adjacent rooms. The CO is tasteless and has no smell so people are unaware of the problem. Since 2013 it has been regulation to have a CO alarm fitted to any room with a solid fuel appliance.
Blockages: Chimneys become blocked. This can be a build up of soot or creosote from your burnt fuel or due to the corrosive nature of these products. There can be a breakdown of the chimney structure which can cause a blockage or leak into adjacent rooms. Birds nest in the summer months often when the fire or stove sits unused and can cause a significant blockage which will not be simply“burnt away”.