Category Archives: Chimneys

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Essential Chimney Maintenance

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Summer is definitely here and you’re not using your chimney as much… Now is the perfect time to carry out any essential maintenance and repairs that will become a much bigger issue come the Winter.

This could be repointing the chimney stack, brick repairs or replacements, or our particular speciality, CCTV inspections. With all our clients, safety is our first priority, and issues with your chimney or flue can be very dangerous. A CCTV chimney inspection gives us the ability to accurately diagnose an issue as well as inspecting the general condition of the chimney or flue.

It is essential that a fire or chimney has not been used for 24hrs before a CCTV inspection, which is why it is best to do so in the warmth of the Summer!

You can be assured that we are fully insured and registered with the Institute of Chimney Sweeps and HETAS, so call us on 07415 449800 to book your CCTV Chimney Inspection this Summer.

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Installing a Wood Burning Stove

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Are you considering the installation of a wood burning stove ahead of the winter?

With 85% more efficiency at heating your home, you can make a huge saving on your heating bill, as well as adding a timeless aesthetic that could possibly increase your property value.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need a chimney to have a log burner, so whether you want to make a modern addition or add a classic look to a room, we can do so with minimal installation.

We at All About Chimneys are HETAS registered solid fuel fire installation specialists, so you can rest assured you’ll be in expert hands when it comes to installing your wood burning stove. We will also give you our professional advice on the styles available as well as the installation, so give us a call on 07415 449800 to talk about the possibilities.

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National Bird Guard Week – 9th to 13th March

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It is estimated that over a million birds die each year by getting trapped in chimneys. The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps says, “Sweeps find all sorts of dead birds in chimneys – owls, starlings, pigeons, jackdaws and sparrows are among the many species. We’ve even heard of a duck and the occasional bat!”. Unfortunately the problem of birds in chimneys includes old fireplaces that have been blocked off at the bottom but left open at the top – often birds will fly in and not be able to get out.

It is essential that the correct bird guard is fitted for your type of chimney, and you can contact us to receive expert advice on this matter. Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps technical director Steven Howard gives the following advice, “it is very important that the correct design of guard is fitted. Always use a professional chimney sweep or fireplace installer. They know what is safe to fit and how to fit it properly. Never use homemade devices and never push mesh into the top of a chimney, it can be dangerous.”

Preventing birds from making their nests in your chimney will also protect you from dangerous situations such as carbon monoxide entering your room due to the blockage, and chimney fires.

Support National Bird Guard Week and get in touch to chat about having a bird guard fitted on your chimney.

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Chimneys and your home insurance

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Having an open fire, wood or multi fuel burner adds a lovely feature to your home, but you need to bear in mind your responsibilities when it comes to maintenance.


Your home insurance will cover you for chimney fires, however your insurer may refuse to pay out if you cannot prove that your chimney has been sufficiently maintained. So how often should you have your chimney swept? As a guide


Smokeless fuel: Once a year

Oil or Gas: Once a year

Wood: Quarterly (when in use)

Bituminous coal: Quarterly (when in use)


As an ICS Registered Chimney Sweep I can give you a Chimney Sweeping Certificate, which is a necessary compliance for your house insurance.

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How often should you have your chimney swept?

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As the evenings start to draw in and the weather gets chillier a nice warm, cosy fire sounds really good, but if you haven’t had your chimney swept all through summer then you really need to get this done before you start your first fire of the season.


If you burn smoke-less fuel, then it will be fine to have your chimney swept once a year at this time. However if you burn wood or bituminous housed coal then we would advise having it swept twice a year, once at the beginning of the burning season and once at the end.


Remember to get it booked in good time, as this is our busiest time of year!

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Birds in your Chimney

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It is obviously inconvenient to have birds nesting in your chimney, but it can also be very dangerous as a blockage can cause carbon dioxide to come in to your room.

Another issue is that under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to remove a nest whilst the birds are nesting. Luckily nesting season is from March – August, so unless we have a very cold Spring and Summer you are unlikely to be lighting your fire.

Birds that nest in chimneys are quite large (often jackdaws) and therefore the nest is much larger than you might see in a bush or tree. It’s important that you have a professional remove the nest because

  1. It’s a very dirty job
  2. Professionals have the right equipment to seal the chimney and remove the nest with as little disruption as possible
  3. Standard sweeping rods will be unlikely to remove the whole nest
  4. How will you know if you got it all? Out CCTV equipment ensures complete removal
  5. You’ll need a bird guard fitting otherwise they’ll be back next year!

If you haven’t had a bird nest in your chimney, but you don’t have a bird guard, we can sort that out for you too.