Relaxing by a cosy log fire on a cold evening can often be an inviting prospect. But your fireplace is one of the most dangerous parts of your home and chimneys must be maintained to prevent a fire breaking out in your home.

There is also a risk of carbon monoxide emissions not being able to leave through the chimney, so it is worth paying attention to and maintaining your chimney.images (2)

Chimney fires start when a thick, tar-like substance called creosote builds up in the inside of the chimney. Creosote is formed from the burning of wood and when it is left to build up, can ignite inside your chimney stack. If your chimney has cracks between the bricks, sparks can jump through and cause incredibly destructive house fires. Keeping your chimney in good condition will reduce the chance of fires, so the cost of £100-£150 for hiring a chimney sweep in Southampton is well worth it when you consider the alternate cost of rebuilding and furnishing your entire house.

Although it’s unlikely you’ll be able to repair or clean your chimney yourself, there are some initial checks you can do on your chimney to help decide if you need to hire a Southampton chimney professional to do some work.

Check for faults with the chimney

Look for cracks or loose joints in the masonry of the firebox– these are telltale signs that you need a chimney professional to seal up any small cracks. Check the damper. It should be in good condition, without rust or cracks and should be able to open and close easily. If it is damaged, it could need replacing. Finally, check the flue with a torch to inspect it for cracks in the lining.

Chimney cleaning in Southampton

How often you have your chimney cleaned depends on how often you use your fireplace and what fuel you use. If you heat your entire home with your fireplace, it’s recommended you have it cleaned fortnightly. Most people, however, need it done about once a year to remove the build up of soot. Birds also build their nests in chimneys which results in twigs, leaves and other debris falling in. This means that having a thorough clean once a year is a must. To make sure you are safe, hire a professional chimney sweep who will be able to tell you how often your chimney needs sweeping based on how often you use it and with what fuel.

Chimney repair in Southamptonimages (5)

Your chimney needs to be in good working order to be safe, so carry out repairs as soon as you spot them. The cost in the short term is worth it for the long term peace of mind and the much reduced risk of fire damage. A good chimney sweep will not only be able to clean your chimney but should be able to offer advice on what repairs may need to be carried out. A chimney sweep who is a member of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps will have public liability insurance, can give expert advice on all chimney problems, issues a certificate of completion and can also provide references on request. The Guild of Master Sweepers also extensively trains their members. When you hire your chimney sweep in Southampton, make sure you ask how much experience they have and request references. Don’t be afraid to compare prices and quote, to make sure you receive the best deal for the work.

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