For those homes that have installed wood-burners or multi-fuel stoves, and brought open fires back in to use, spring cleaning should not be complete until the chimney has been cleaned and inspected.

Here are two of the important reasons why this should be part of an annual routine:

1. With regular use, there will be a build up of creosote and soot in the chimney. The speed of accumulation is dependent upon the type and efficiency of the fire and the fuel used. Creosote is highly combustible, and if allowed to build up in sufficient quantities, will result in a chimney fire. Regular cleaning is therefore a safety necessity.

2. Stormy winter weather can cause damage to chimneys. This can be external damage to brickwork, mortar, chimney pots, cowls etc. And internally as rain water entering the chimney can mix with creosote and cause corrosion of the flue liner. Spring inspection can spot damage at an early stage enabling repairs to take place while the fire is not in use over the summer.

Most people wait until the autumn before scheduling their annual chimney clean and inspection, so a spring chimney clean will beat that last-minute rush and mean there’s a much better chance of scheduling the cleaning at a time that is convenient to you.

Whether a chimney clean and inspection becomes part of your spring clean schedule or not is a personal decision. However for health and safety reasons, it is important that sweeping does take place at least annually, and perhaps more regularly dependent upon usage. Consult your local sweep.

To locate your local qualified sweep, contact either the National Association of Chimney Sweeps or the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.