Why do I need to get my chimney swept?

Chimneys need to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning the chimney will increase the efficiency of appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed.

How often does my chimney need to be cleaned?

The fire service recommend that, in normal use, chimneys should be swept as follows, unless your Insurance company, stove manufacturer declares otherwise or if our Sweep Safe Chimney sweep advises differently, when issuing a sweep safe certificate.

– Chimneys with solid fuel appliances: Smokeless fuels at least once a year / Domestic bituminous coal at least twice a year / Wood burning every three months when in use.

– Chimneys with gas appliances: Once a year and should be checked by a Gas Safe technician.

– Chimneys with oil appliances: Once a year and should be checked by an OFTEC technician.

My house insurance stipulates annual cleaning of my chimney. Are you able to provide proof to show it has been swept?

Yes we always issue you with a certificate of chimney sweeping upon completion.
An invoice will always follow to, further evidence of the sweep.

Do smoke marks on the wall above the fireplace indicate a problem?

Yes it could.  It is often caused by smoke is leaking back into the room, which can be extremely dangerous.
Subject to location a free survey may be possible prior to booking any works with team CSI.

Are you able to check the safety of my chimney when you sweep it?

The sweeps aim to keep your chimney clean and safe to use. However we are only able to conduct a brief visual inspection of your chimney unless you request a CCTV inspection or a ‘soundness’ smoke test (also known as a smoke pressure test, this requires 2 people so required to be booked in advance).
These further inspection options might highlight any problems with the chimney itself, please take into consideration that there is a limit to what can be seen by CCTV inside a chimney, however we do believe we are using the best inspection camera on market and try to give you the best results/advice from the CCTV, prices start from £40.00 + VAT for a CCTV.
Your certificate of chimney sweeping is not a warranty or guarantee that your fireplace, chimney stack or appliance is safe. Please let us know of any suspected problems in advance.

Are you able to provide advice if you believe our chimney needs some maintenance?

We always offer free advice based on our experience/knowledge on the day of the sweep however if you have any concerns of new to the property a CCTV inspection may be useful for assessing any damage, when getting quotes for any remedial work and providing evidence for insurance or repair purposes. We are always more than happy to advise on what might be required.

I’ve just lit my fire and it is smoking – does it need to be cleaned?

If it has been used but not been swept within the past 12 months, for safety it should be swept as soon as possible. If it has not been used since it was last swept, and the problem of birds nesting can be ruled out, if there is a cage or cowl on the chimney, however sometimes little birds can get in and always subject to adequate/sufficient guard, not all on the market are good enough.
It could be due to the cold or weather conditions.
Please call us and we may be able to give advice on the appropriate action to be taken – 01223828688

Why do I need to get the chimney swept before it is closed off?

When a chimney is closed off it can get damp. If it has not been cleaned prior to closure then there could be soot left in situ which can turn into a black acidic slurry that often soaks into the internal walls causing severe problems. If severe enough this damp slimy mixture can penetrate through to the adjacent room where it will cause unsightly stains stains on the walls.
We always advise a Pre closure sweep and advise adequate/sufficient ventilation both internally & externally.

How much will it cost?

Prices are based on various factors, that can/will include location, flue, fire type and number of chimneys to be swept.
We are happy to provide a fixed quote in advance ‘subject to there being no access difficulties, nests or blockages’.

Please see here for our best packages deals/offers –

How long does it take?

The sweep itself usually takes approximately 30-45 minutes, however the greeting, sheeting, clean out add to this, so I would always advise a minimum of 1 hour for our Sweep Safe Chimney sweep to be in the property, but allowing 2 hours for good measure is always worth it.
Occasionally the sweeps itself may take a little longer.

Blockages (e.g. a bird’s nest) take more time to clear because of the amount of debris that has to be removed.

What happens if I cant keep the appointment?

If you need to change or cancel your appointment we’d really appreciate you giving us as much notice as possible so we have a chance to reallocate your appointment to someone else.

If you are unable to give us less than 24 hours’ notice or we do reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee of up to 100% of the quoted fee, however here at CSI we will always try to avoid this and if a fee is required its likely to be 25-30% of agreed price.

Why don’t you give me a specific time for my appointment?

When you book a visit, we give you an arrival time slot of one hour – two hours, as much as we would love to give you a precise time sometimes traffic congestion or unexpected challenges at a previous appointment can disrupt our schedule. If we are going to arrive outside our scheduled time (earlier or later) we will always ring you to let you know and check whether it is still convenient.

What happens if I need to go out before you arrive?

If this is our first visit we prefer it if someone is home when we arrive. We appreciate emergencies do crop up so please let us know in advance if you need to leave a key in a secure place or with a neighbour. In the unfortunate event no-one is home when we visit or we cannot gain access the cancellation charge will be up to 100% of the quoted fee.


Do you need us to stay with you whilst you are here – or is it OK to “leave you to it?”

Often our customers simply let us in and then go out! We believe that this is mainly because CSI excellent reputation across the whole of east Anglia with over 150 different positive reviews available to view online, also because we return year on year and our customers get to know us.

We will always happily work with you to make our service as convenient as possible.

Why do I need to see the brush out the top of the chimney?

Well, seeing the brush out the top of the chimney demonstrates to you that the flue has been swept throughout its length, and that CSI have done our work properly.
Its also an wives tail that it gives good luck and you can make a wish.

What if I have to go out but you encounter a problem?

If we find anything out of the ordinary or of concern we will contact you – it is best to provide us with both a landline and a mobile contact whenever possible. If further work is needed we will check with you before carrying out any additional work unless you are not present or not contactable and we believe the work is essential or it would be dangerous to leave the situation as it is.
We always offer a Sweep safe certificate noting any issues/problems and advise all additional works either required or completed.

Do I need to cover the furniture?

Our service is as clean as we can make it. We provide sheets that cover the fireplace opening and the area to the front of the fireplace, and we also use a commercial vacuum to keep dust to an absolute minimum.

When we remove a nest, however, we recommend that your furniture, television, near-by curtains and carpets are covered. We will do our best to contain the debris but, until we start removing the nest, we cannot be sure of how big it is. The action of removing the nest means it is impossible to fully seal the fireplace and therefore further precautions need to be taken by the householder.
To summarise, for a standard sweep no furniture is required to be removed, just a clear access to the fireplace.

What do I need to do to prepare for the arrival of the chimney sweep?

In most cases very little.
Key points;
Do not have a fire in an open fire or solid fuel burner for at least 10 hours before my arrival.
There should be no hot coals in the the appliance.
Agas, Rayburns and boilers should have at least 18 hours to cool down before our arrival.
Remove any ash from the grate is always preferred but not compulsory.
Clear the immediate area around the appliance of vases, photo frames and other ornaments to allow me room to work .
We will bring shoe covers (or remove our shoes), floor runners and dust sheets to cover the immediate area and allow me space to work.

What happens if you make a mess?

The worst thing that we can do when sweeping is to bring soot down the chimney and into the room, we are however very experienced and take every precaution to prevent this.

We have public liability insurance up to £2,000,000, so you can rest assured that, if an accident happens, you are fully covered.

Am I likely to get any mess after you’ve swept?

We will always sweep your chimney to the best of our ability and report anything that we found to be out of the ordinary or of concern. Although we make every effort to remove as much soot and debris from the chimney as possible in exceptional circumstances (such as when the soot contains moisture or cold air is trapped in the chimney) small amounts of soot can sometimes fall after we leave. If you’re concerned about this do give us a call.

What do you do with the soot you’ve removed?

Usually, we will leave the soot with you in a bag for disposal with your household waste. If preferred we can remove the soot for disposal off site as we are registered low-tier waste carrier licence holders. There may be an additional charge for this service however – we have to pay to take the waste to a municipal site.

How and when do I pay?

Our standard is that customers pay within 7 days of completion.
We issue an invoice within 48 hours and require payment within 7 days of job completion, so sometimes within 5 days of invoices, majority of sweeps require payment on completion, however we are more flexible then that.
Our bank details are listed on the invoice for BACS payment, if your preferred method is cheque please kindly give the sweep the cheque upon completion as this can take unto a week to be put into the bank, then a further week to clear.

Will you invoice me?

We always email you an invoice, we do not post them to save on costings and the environment, however for a small fee we ca post if required.
We issue a sweep certificate at the job, this provides evidence of works undertaken by CSI.

Can I pay online?

Only via BACS we don’t take card payments at the moment due to the fee’s charged.

Do you take credit cards?

Not at current, BACS or Cheque payments required.