The sun may have taken its hat off for a little while, but it is generally still not cool enough to start thinking about heating. If you have an open fire or woodburning stove, now is the time to get your chimney swept. Here are five reasons why you should get in touch with your local chimney sweep sooner rather than later:
- Prevent the rush - It happens every year. You think that, next time, you’ll be organised and yet, once again, you find yourself the wrong side of October and your chimney still hasn’t been swept. Even worse, your usual chimney sweep is booked up for the next three weeks. You may not be planning on lighting your fire for a while but if you book your chimney sweep now you will avoid the autumn/winter rush, and your fire will be ready when you need it.
- Safety first - Sweeping your chimney is vital to your safety and it can even impact your house insurance. When you burn wood, a build up of residues develops in your chimney. This forms a layer that is actually flammable and can add to the risk of chimney fire.
- Maintain your home - The build up of creosote in your chimney isn’t just a fire risk, it damages masonry too by deteriorating the mortar joints. In the longer term, failing to sweep your chimney could leave you with a costly masonry repair bill – it is much simpler to get your chimney swept regularly.
- Prevent odours - Smoke smells worse in the warmer months and without the chimney being properly swept, the smell can permeate clothes, furniture and curtains. You may love the smell of bonfires in your home, 24/7. But if you prefer a fresher scent in your home, make sure you get your chimney swept at the beginning and end of winter to prevent that musty fire smell from invading your home.
- Safeguard your home - If your fire isn’t certified safe and swept regularly, your insurance may well be invalid. By maintaining your fireplace and getting a certificate of safety from your qualified chimney sweep, you will ensure that, in the event of fire of any cause, you should be covered on your insurance policy. Many insurance companies ask you to specify if you have an open fire or woodburning stove; if you are unsure as to whether you have answered that question, check your policy. Failure to declare that you have a fire could make your home insurance invalid, regardless of what you are claiming and its cause.
Just as now is the time to get your chimney swept, if you are considering investing in a fire, it is best to act soon. Get a couple of quotes from local, accredited woodburning stove specialists and plan the investment before temperatures drop.