Skip Navigation Linksquestions about chimneys and chimney sweeping advice from a cardiff chimney sweep

‚ÄčWILL THERE BE A MESS?

No. The fireplace is sealed off using a cloth adjusted to the size of your fireplace and taped in place. Care is taken to ensure that the seal is not broken during sweeping and to ensure the soot is removed without creating a mess. You may experience a smell from the vacuum exhaust for a short time.

 

WHAT AREAS DO YOU COVER?

I cover a wide area which includes :- Cardiff ,Machen, Newport, Caerphilly, Pontypridd, Penarth, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan,Trethomas, Bedwas, Llantrisant, Beddau

 

WHY SHOULD I HAVE MY CHIMNEY SWEPT?

Chimneys should be swept regularly to reduce the risk of a fire. It also helps the safe venting of the products of

combustion. Cardbon monoxide can be fatal and frequent cleaning improves the chances of problems being

detected.

 

WHAT PREPARATIONS SHOULD I UNDERTAKE?

It is helpful if you could clear out the grate, move back anything in front of the fireplace and clear the surround/mantlepiece. Do not worry if you do not have time I can do this.

DO YOU REMOVE BIRDS NESTS ETC?

Yes, but the nest must not be an active one.  It is potentially an offence under the wildlife and countryside act to disturb a nest of a wild bird. You should monitor the chimney to ensure it is no longer active before booking. If you suspect you have a blockage then please let me know when you book. The time taken to remove a blockage can vary considerably. However long it takes I will not charge you more than the maximum I quoted when booking the job. If you want the chimney cowling the same applies re an active nest.

 

WHY IS MY FIREPLACE SMOKING BACK?

The stack might terminate in a high pressure zone causing a downdraft.

The wind may cause a downdraft.

The flue could be blocked or need sweeping.

The flue may be cold causing lack of updraft.

The size of the fireplace might not be compatible with the cross sectional area and height of the flue.

The grate might be too far forward.

You might not have the correct ventialtion for the fire, especially in the case of an open fire which needs a lot of   air.

If you have a stove you should check the baffle/ throat plate on a regular basis, they can become distorted and split and so the entrance into the pathway into the chimney can become blocked it can be very dangerous indeed. I saw a significant Co issue in cardiff where the plate split and folded up into the stove collar, the fit was only 18 months old! The Co detector was incorrectly located and did not go off! The picture below is of a plate which just burnt a hole in itself and did not block the entrance into the chimney. Buy a stove thermometer and do not over fill the stove.

damaged stove throat plate.jpg 

 

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BURNING WOOD?

Recently cut wood has a high water content, burning wet wood produces little heat and produces lots of steam.

Dried logs mean a cleaner chimney and less flue fires/ failures. Wet wood means that the resins in the wood do not combust and escape up into the chimney. The resins form a lining which is highly combustible. Also this tar lining is corrosive and so attacks the chimney structure. You could always try using a moisture meter to check the water content, I believe stoves on line sell them. It is always best to purchase hardwood as the higher density of such wood produces more heat for a given volume. You could try Cardiff technoscapes for a log supplies or if you want to buy kiln dried wood try Woodman Products of Margam.

If you reduce the amount of air going into a stove this will reduce the temperature of the products of combustion entering the chimney. This in turn will reduce the amount of amount of combustion products escaping from the chimney stack and tar will form in the flue. A stove thermometer can help you avoid this problem. It is usually best when purchasing a stove to buy one with a slightly smaller KW than you might think as you will tend to run this at a higher temperature thus raising the temperature in the chimney and so reduce the chance of tar formation. Sometimes when your chimney is swept a kind of crispy material comes down the chimney.This is the material that is left if solid tar has burnt off in the flue, in effect you have had a chimney fire and not even known it. Please do not try and set fire to the chimney to try and clear the flue of tar it can burn at vey high temperatures (1200 deg C I am told) and so can cause serious amounts of damage.

 

What is the quality of some firewood like from forecourts and similar outlets like?

Woodfuel Wales has conducted some research and questions the quality of such wood for sale in some cases. The labelling  and quality of the retail staffs knowledge has been queried. Most of the wood for sale had a high moisture quality and the price varied considerably. Nets also varied in size dramatically making it hard to gauge value especially when you considered the moisture content.

HONEY BEES IN CHIMNEYS.

From time to time this crops up, so I am giving you a few pointers.  It really is not a good idea to let the bees stay in your chimney, a blockage of honey and wax will grow. I am told that the smell of the old honey and wax may attract bees for many  years. As far as I know bee keepers will not be able to get them out of the chimney so although no one wants to kill bees they will have to be killed, pest control companies should be able to help. You could try asking a beekeeper first.  It is unlikely that it will be possible to sweep out the honey and wax. I would think to get the wax and honey out of the chimney it will have to be opened up in say the attic, if that is the location of the bees. From time to time I have to open up chimnmeys in the attic when an old nest cannot be removed by sweeping, it is usually straightforward.