I started this thread because price is a very important factor to many customers.
There are many So called ”Cheap Sweeps” advertised on the internet and at first glance they may seem like a bargain. I would warn buyer beware and I will state some reasons why below:
- A good Chimney sweep will have had many years experience and will have undertaken very many training courses which are expensive.
- Business insurance carries an expense if your house is damaged or someone is hurt who will pay?
- Proper chimney sweeping equipment is very expensive. For example a H rated chimney sweeping vacuum will cost close to £900.00 it is absolutely essential as the VOC`s in soot are carcinogenic. There is also value attached to new dust sheets, brushes that actually sweep etc. A Henry hoover is NOT a sweeps vac and there is no such thing as a Vacuum only method of sweeping.
- An untrained or poorly trained chimney sweep will not understand the risks associated with carbon monoxide which is produced in abundance in solid fuelled appliances. (35% of all deaths from CO are now the fault of solid fuel)
- There are only 2 official chimney sweeping organizations signed up to the Chimney sweeping industry standard. The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and the NACS. Is the sweep a member of these?
- There are a massive difference between a chimney cleaner and a professional chimney sweep. It is possible that your average chimney cleaner may or may not have attended a 1 and 1/2 day `Chimney sweeping course` but a chimney engineer or professional chimney sweep will have been studying for several years. For example a master member of the guild of Master Chimney Sweeps will have around 8 to 12 weeks of classroom time and a minimum of 2 years in the chimney sweeping industry. He will also be a HETAS registered installer and possibly have undertaken the H005 Biomass qualification as is the case with Clean Sweep Chimney Services. Do you really want someone with with absolutely no understanding of how your stove works or fits together taking it apart? or maybe even your very very delicate Biomass boiler and blindly ramming brushes through it?
- Will the brand new company that you wish to employ be around when something goes wrong? Old companies have a proven track record.
- Will the soot be disposed of or will this Carcinogenic (Cancer forming) product be left with you or dumped in your wheelie bin? A waste carriage license is required to transport soot.
I could rant on all day but thats not the point.
The point is can a person skillfully sweep your chimney with very little or no mess? can they give professional advice on safety,burning cycle, installation faults ,fuel type and leave you with a legal industry standard certificate? does the appliance now work more efficiently? and most importantly are you left feeling safe in your home from CO poisoning and the risk of chimney fire? Has the carcinogenic soot been taken away and disposed of? If so then you have probably received good value for money what ever you have paid.
So in summary: It is always surprising to me that price is still the number 1 factor to some people even though the reason for sweeping the chimney is to prevent a chimney/house fire and to prevent carbon monoxide incidences even possible death. It is recommended to choose the most respected, trained and competent chimney sweeps unfortunately they will not be able to compete with the “Cheap Sweep” but rest assured you will have made the right choice for you and your family and typically the difference is only a few pounds.
Originally published- www.chimneyservice.co.uk/blog