How I Sweep

After many years of manually sweeping, the job has been totally transformed in recent years by the introduction of power sweeping. It has been proven that power sweeping removes more deposits but is also kinder to flues and liners.

A cordless drill is now used to rotate the rods and head as they go up the chimney. The head is made up of multiple strands of soft nylon cord that expand through centrifugal force to suit the flue being swept. Because it is not a traditional brush there is no surface tension being created in the sweeping process as the head adjusts to fit the flue. You adjust the force of the sweeping action by increasing the speed of the drill which has the effect of stiffening the brushing action. So, if you are doing an older style chimney then you would use a lower speed, however if you are doing a heavily tarred up flue then you can increase the speed giving you an unbelievable cleaning action. Also, the action of sweeping clockwise positions the head to the right hand side when sweeping a larger type chimney. Likewise, reverse the drill and you then sweep the left side. Larger chimneys benefit from a head measuring 36 inch across, much bigger than the old 20 inch manual brush used. In short, you clean chimneys more effectively, even flues with heavy creosote deposits.

One of the most important parts of chimney sweeping is the containment of the soot. Whatever appliance is being swept will be sealed up, allowing just a small access for the rods to go through. At the same time the vacuum cleaner will be running to ensure a slight negative pressure behind the containment sheet and to suck up any bits of soot trying to exit where the rods go through. There should be no mess. The olden days of soot flying all around the room are long gone. I aim to leave the room exactly as I found it.

The vacuum cleaner I use is an industrial one manufactured by Camvac and has three internal filters ensuring all is contained.

I am a National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) member. A NACS certificate is issued with every chimney swept, which is recognised throughout the industry (e.g. insurance companies etc).