The importance of maintaining and servicing your chimney can never be underestimated. To allow the continued effective, efficient and above all safe use of your chimney it is crucial you look after the condition of your chimney. However, when it comes to various aspects of chimney maintenance and servicing it is all too easy to get lost in the jargon and terminology. That is why here at East Midland Stoves we have compiled a complete chimney maintenance and servicing guide to steer you through the process. Read on to find out more!
Why Is Chimney Servicing & Maintenance Necessary?
Inspecting, servicing and maintaining the condition of your chimney is a necessity should you wish to safely and effectively use stoves. Chimney maintenance allows you to gauge the condition of the chimney and whether this will potentially pose a threat. When left unattended, the condition of chimneys can quickly deteriorate. Chimneys should contain a sealed flue from the appliance, such as a wood burning stove, through to the chimney pot. This allows the safe transportation of combustion products such as gases to escape safely. Effective chimney maintenance can involve a few procedures:
Chimney sweeping ensures any obstructions are cleared to prevent the danger of soot falls and the potential back-draft of harmful gases. Removing blockages such as bird nests and soot build ups also allow for a more efficient combustion of your stove, providing a stronger updraught. Products such as soot also have the potential to catch alight if left. We recommend you sweep your chimney annually, and as often as every three months during burning season. Chimney sweeping will also allow you to identify early any potential problems with your chimney. This can save you money in the long run.
It is common to find old chimneys that are in a poor condition. This means they are susceptible to leaking fumes, especially if the flue is not properly lined. Over time, weathering and combustion by-products such as hot smoke, tars and acids will eat into the chimney walls and erode mortar joints. This can cause staining to the exterior brickwork and creates the potential for the leakage of harmful fumes into a property. If a flue is also too large or uneven this can create a poor updraught, leading to smoke blowing back into a room. Thorough chimney relining services ensure the ongoing structural integrity of chimneys and allows safe and efficient combustion. It is important to check whether a chimney is both wind and water tight.
The nature of a chimney’s location and the duress they endure means they are naturally more susceptible to weathering. Be it wind, rain and snow or scorching sunlight these will all have an impact upon a chimney’s mortar and brickwork. The mortar between a chimneys brickwork is more likely to fail sooner than in other locations. This leads to the potential for water to leak into a building. Chimney repointing is effectively renewing the external mortar points on any masonry construction, digging out failed mortar and replacing with fresh mortar. Over time weathering can adversely affect these joints and allow in unwanted water. That is why it is important to keep on top of this and prevent expensive damage in the long run.
Smoke testing helps to ensure there are no potential leaks that can emit harmful gases into your home. By-products of combustion such as carbon monoxide can be dangerous to an individual so it is important thorough chimney maintenance and smoke testing is applied to put your mind at ease.
Can I Service My Chimney Myself?
Thorough chimney maintenance & servicing removes build-ups of debris within your chimney and ensures ongoing structural integrity. This allows it to function properly and safely. To ensure the efficient and safe usage of your chimney a professional and correctly qualified maintenance service is crucial. The National Association Of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) is a professional trade association, created to promote high standards for sweeping, inspection and the maintenance of chimneys. Here at East Midland Stoves we are fully NACS qualified, allowing you peace of mind in the knowledge that our expert team are highly experienced in all facets of chimney maintenance and servicing.
How Often Does My Chimney Need Servicing?
It is advisable that you have your chimney swept annually. This should be as often as every three months when it is burning season. Venting systems that are connected to stoves should also be cleaned on a regular basis. This helps to maintain their condition and guarantee safer usage. It is extremely important that you do not neglect or cut corners when it comes to the condition of your chimney or venting system. Undiscovered defects have the potential to turn into expensive repairs, or in the worst case scenarios, chimney fires.
A Few Tips…
– Ensure fire safety with both chimney sweeping and servicing on a regular basis. Identifying minor potential issues before they grow into major issues will save you time and money in the long run. Problems such as slower burning or smoke blowing back into the room can also indicate problems such as blockages.
– Burn fuel that is correct for your stove. Wood burning stoves are designed to burn only wood or wood derived products. If you desire a more flexible stove, multi-fuel stoves are capable of burning other fuel sources such as coal. If you desire ease of use it may even be worth considering gas or electric stoves.
– Even when a chimney is serviced this does not mean there is still not the potential for fire breaking out. Using safety precautions such as fire guards prevent sparks from potentially setting fire to carpets and floors.
Chimney Servicing & Maintenance Guide
Here at East Midland Stoves we provide a variety of chimney maintenance services including sweeping, relining and repointing. These all allow the continued safe and efficient burning of your stoves and allow you to rest easy knowing that your home is safe. We are also fully NACs and HETAS qualified. Our hard working, dedicated team service areas all across the East Midlands including Leicester, Derby, Coventry and Nottingham. If you require any form of stove or chimney maintenance services then East Midland Stoves is the place for you! Contact our expert team today, or better yet why not visit our stove showroom based in Sapcote, Leicester and see what we can do for you!