chimney fire

Ah, life gets in the way, doesn’t it? There are so many things to do around the house, but you just don’t have time to keep on top of everything.

For some house-related duties – the occasionally missed toilet clean, for instance – it isn’t the end of the world. But if you neglect your chimney for too long, some rather unpleasant things can happen.

In this blog,  as often as it should be.


Why is it so important to sweep chimneys?

Your chimney is quite unlike anything else in your house. It sits there, out of view and never seems to encroach on your daily life.

Indeed, it shouldn’t. Your chimney’s main role is to allow dangerous combustion gasses to evacuate your home. Sounds like a pretty important job, right?

Every time you burn a fire in your stove, you’ll be burning some kind of fuel. And, because it’s impossible to achieve complete combustion in a fireplace, any unburnt fuel will be sent up the chimney, out of harm’s way.

As that unburnt fuel travels up the chimney, it cools and turns into soot, which builds up over time. Too much soot restricts those aforementioned dangerous gasses from escaping freely, leading to fumes spilling into your living room.

It’s also important to bear in mind that unburnt fuel which enters your chimney can be burnt again. The type of fuel you burn will have an impact on the build-up of soot in your chimney. For instance, if you burn damp wood and close the air controls too tightly, the fuel will burn at a low temperature and release lots of unburnt fuel upwards.

Here’s what can happen if you don’t have your chimney swept at regular intervals.



Scenario 1: carbon monoxide poisoning

You’re probably aware that your gas appliances are capable of releasing carbon monoxide into your home. When that happens, the consequences can be fatal, which is why it’s so important to have an alarm fitted in your home.

However, in our experience, few people realise that carbon monoxide can also be created from burning wood and coal. In fact, that type of fuel can produce even higher levels of nasty stuff.

This is one reason why a regular chimney sweep is vital in order to ensure a free passage for the fumes generated by your fireplace. The consequences of high levels of carbon monoxide entering your home don’t bear thinking about.


Carbon monoxide


Scenario 2: a chimney fire

It’s not really getting any better, is it?

Remember the fire triangle when you were at school? It illustrated that for a fire to start, you just need the correct balance of fuel, heat and oxygen – simple.

Unfortunately, if your chimney has become lined with combustible soot, that becomes the fuel. Add to that the heat from the fireplace and oxygen in the room, and you have a recipe for a chimney fire.

Chimney fires can get incredibly hot; at their worst, they can reach temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius or more. This will likely result in a cracked chimney and the need to have it relined.

Worse still, a chimney fire could ignite other materials nearby, thus causing a house fire. Again, the consequences don’t bear thinking about and this is another clear reason you should invest regularly in a professional chimney sweep.


Qualified Chimney sweep


Worried? Don’t be!

We should point out that the above two scenarios are pretty unlikely to happen to you, but they’re made all the more possible if you don’t look after your chimney.

The good news is that chimney sweeps aren’t expensive, don’t create lots of mess, and result in ultimate peace of mind for your family.

So, if you suspect yours might be in need of a sweep, just get in touch with the friendly SweepSmart team, today.