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Everything You Need to Know: Chimney Sweep Process

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Chimney sweeps are a necessary part of maintaining your stove and keeping your household safe. But how do they work and what happens during the appointment?


Before your sweep arrives, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the appointment. Firstly, we would ask that no fire is lit on the day of the sweep. This ensures that no hot ashes are in the stove when the sweep begins work. It is also helpful if you are able to move out of the way any decorative/sentimental items near the chimney and ensure that no furniture is close to the sweep site.

Process of a chimney sweep:

When your chimney sweep first arrives, they will lay down plastic sheeting and other coverings to protect your floorings. They will do their best to minimise the mess of a chimney sweep and keep your home nice and clean.

There are a couple of different ways to complete a chimney sweep. Some choose to start from the flue and work their way up to the top of the chimney. Others prefer to start at the top of the chimney and work their way down. Both techniques produce the same results.

Your chimney sweep will arrive with a range of different tools to help them complete the job safely. Primarily, they will bring the sweeping brush. This is a long, heavy metal rod with a bristled brush at the end. They will use this brush to dislodge any built-up soot in your chimney. Once the debris has fallen into the fireplace/log burner, your chimney sweep will use a shop vac to clear away the ash.

A chimney sweep can also safely remove any nests that may have been formed by birds or small animals since your last sweep. Small animals like to hide in chimneys as they are dark, dry, and safe from predators. However, these nests are dangerous both for the animals living in them, and you when you begin lighting the fire in the colder months. If you suspect that a nest may be forming, or hear small birds or other animals in the chimney, please contact your chimney sweep.

After the sweep:

Your chimney sweep will clear away all of their tools and floor coverings. They will also hoover and make sure that your fireplace and the area around the fireplace are clean.

Once the job has been completed they will complete a HETAS Servicing and Maintenance sheet with you. This confirms that the sweep was completed successfully, and gives them an opportunity to run through any issues/concerns they may have about your chimney. This is a great time to chat with your sweep about your stove and any maintenance work that may be required. Finally, don't forget to book your sweep for next year.

two houses with two chimneys

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