So you are looking to get your chimney swept… What exactly should you expect? A huge mess? A two-hour drag? Something quick and easy that you don’t have to pay too much mind?
Likely the sweep will first come to check and prepare the area for sweeping. They they proceed to clean out the chimney of any residue left from use, as well as water and possibly animal debris. Then a quick and procedure primarily based on inspecting the chimney for any issues before informing the customer of any repairs they may need done.
The average chimney sweep should take around an hour, though a longer slot may be scheduled just in case something goes wrong or the chimney just needs that extra time to get cleaned out. When the visit is done however, everything should be cleaned up and you should not be able to even tell that a chimney sweep was there.
The Tools of the Trade
Sadly there is likely to be a mess if you use your chimney and only get it swept once per year. However, there should not be too much worry about your hand as the sweepers likely will come with a vacuum on hand to get up anything that falls loose.
As for what will be falling, likely soot and tar, often time creosote, as the sweep goes and brushes it out, the sweepers use metal bristled brushes attached to long rods to scrap the settlement off the inner walls. They will also be outfitted in gloves, goggles, and masks to protect themselves from soot and ash.
The sweeps also will have some actual technology on them. While the brushes may be motorized, it can be hard to get a good look into a chimney with just the human body. So they may bring cameras and other inspection equipment to check for weathering, leaks, or any obstructions within the chimney.
They likely will also bring mats to put down so as not to stain any carpet. This is just for the customer’s satisfaction and to help ease cleaning as some of the stuff scrapped out that lands in the fireplace may be toxic.
There are many things a chimney sweep may find and many ways they may go about the sweep. Some go up from the flue and others down from the access, with the primary goal just being to clean those bits of any residue or grime that may have settled upon them.
They are also trained to handle animals, who often find chimneys an ideal location due to being protected from the elements, dark, closed off, and usually quiet. The sweepers will be able to remove these animals safely and dissuade them from returning.
While not the primary goal, a sweeper will also inspect the entire chimney for any engineering needs. They may not have the tools on hand to address the issues—especially if the problem is due to water damage—but will inform you of anything they find and how it is best dealt with. This can range from just needing a part replaced or a new lining to rebuilding a massive chunk of the chimney.
We at Sootmaster offer full sweeps, as well as inspections, repairs, and installations. So if you get a sweep and they identify anything wrong. It’s a simple as booking another appointment. Yyou can trust us to come back later and fix it at your nearest convenience.