Chimney Sweeping & Open Fire Maintenance
Chimney Cleaning Frequency
Chimney Sweeping & Open Fire Maintenance should be carried out once every 90 fires/lights, but whats listed below is a good rule of thumb.
Gas- Once a year.
Oil- Once a year.
Wood - Once a season when in use.
Smokeless coal- At least once a year.
Bitumous coal- At least twice a year.
It typically takes about minutes to sweep an Open Fire, we clean all types of stoves, cookers and open fires. Most appliances are swept using power sweeping equipment. However on some occasions we do revert to the use of the old rods and brush method.
When cleaning an open fire, we start by putting down new plastic ground sheets, we then remove the fret, grate, damper, boiler cover, etc, depending on the type of fireplace or chimney we are working with. Before commencing cleaning ,we block the firebox with large form blocks (to prevent soot spillage into the room), we have a HEPA vacuum running throughout the whole process, so that the sweep is as clean as humanly possible. Power sweeping ensures that the chimney is swept properly It puts no pressure on the chimney flue.
We also carry out a visual inspection of the flue, fireplace, etc to ensure that the customer is aware of any risk factors that are obvious!
We check for chimney tar or creosote.
We check for adequate air supply and that vents are function properly.
We carry out a smoke evacuation test.
We do a ground level inspection of the stack, cowling and pots to make sure that they are in reasonable condition and suitable for use with your appliance.
We check your carbon monoxide detector to make sure it is functioning and positioned correctly.
We check that the fireplace installation complies with building regulations.
Reasons why you’re chimney/flue should be cleaned or swept on a regular basis.
There are a number of reasons:
1. It clears creosote/soot deposits within the chimney therefore reducing the risk of a chimney fire and allows for proper venting of dangerous combustion gases.
When the sweep is inspecting the chimney, they will check that building regulations have been adhered to, for example flue Vs firebox, distance from combustibles etc.
When the sweep is doing an inspection he will check as much of the flue that is visible (depending on the level of inspection) for cracks and breaches in the flue liner, he will also check the smoke chamber for breaches and do a ground level inspection of the chimney stack. If your chimney fails any part of this level 1 inspection, your sweep may recommend that a higher level of inspection take place that might include smoke testing the chamber or a CCTV survey.
2. Are chimney fires a common occurrence?
In short the answer is yes. The latest statistics that are available from the department of environment show that in 2006 the Irish Fire Service attended 9,394 domestic fires an increase of 2.5% on 2005. Of these 9,394 fires 5,695 were chimney fires an increase of more than 2.8% on the 2005 figure. In 2006 there were 3 fatalities resulting form chimney/solid fuel appliance fires. This accounts for 7% of all fatalities in all fires attended by the Irish Fire Services.
·In Dublin in 2006 there were 317 chimney fires attended by the fire brigade.
·In Co. Kildare in 2006 there were 281 chimney fires attended by the fire brigade.
3. What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas, produced during the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels such as wood, coal, gas and oil. It is harmful if inhaled and may result in death if present in sufficient quantities or if a person is exposed for a sufficient length of time or over a protracted period. We would recommend that all properties having stoves fitted should have a carbon monoxide detector fitted when the stove is been installed. If the alarms sound the best advice is to turn off the appliance in the case of oil or gas and for solid fuel just let it burn through, vacate, ventilate and have a professional investigate the cause of the alarm. When we service a stove we fit a patch detector as part of the service. For more information on Carbon Monoxide click here.
4. I have a stove but no cleaning access.
No problem, We should be able to sweep up through the baffle plate, if not we can fit an access door in your stove pipe, see the video below as an example.
Call us @01 9053875