Chimney Sweeping


Sweeping of a Chimney

  1. The practice of chimney sweeping shall be deemed to be the passing of an adequate sized and strength brush, appropriate to the diameter of the chimney and flue used, through the complete length of the chimney. The brush may be put through by rods, viper and star, a line and weights, or Rotary Sweeping equipment.
  2. There is no acceptable method of cleaning a chimney using a vacuum cleaner only.
  3. A Chimney Sweep must ensure that they carry a sufficient number of rods / line and weights or viper to ensure that the brush will pass the length of the chimney or flue completely.
  4. Chimneys should be swept thoroughly with a brush or cleaning implement that is suitable to remove the products of combustion within the flue.
  5. Before any sweeping commences, the immediate floor area and fireplace opening/appliance and/or any access points must be protected using suitable sealing methods, such as sheeting and foam blocks, to keep mess to the absolute minimum before and during the sweeping process.
  6. All Chimney Sweeps must check there is adequate ventilation and carbon monoxide alarms in all the rooms containing the flues and appliances they have worked on, as defined in Document J (Current Building Regulations).
  7. All problems and faults found during sweeping shall be made known to the person with whom the sweeping contract is made, property owner, or the operative of the appliance. All such problems and faults relating to the chimney or heating appliances shall be put in writing.
  8. All Chimney Sweeps will endeavour to carry out a visual inspection of chimney stacks and flue terminations prior to the cleaning of such flues and appliances.
  9. The Chimney Sweep must not undertake work on any chimney or appliance that is deemed unsafe or dangerous (in accordance with the current Health and Safety at Work Act). Evidence of the defect will be put in writing.

Sweeping frequencies

Frequency will depend on a number of factors which include the type of fuel used, appliance, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, and the type of chimney you have. Your Chimney Sweep will be able to advise on the sweeping frequency during the appointment. The sweeping frequencies below are for guidance purposes only:-

  • Smokeless fuel: at least once a year
  • Wood: quarterly when in use
  • Bituminous coal: Quarterly when in use
  • Oil: once a year
  • Gas: once a year