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Chimney sweep Watford
Chimney sweeps - Solid fuel fires - Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

Solid fuel stoves, chimney liners, cowls and bird guards and chimney sweeping

Sadly the warmer and lighter months are drawing to an end! The mornings are getting steadily darker and the amount of natural light available in the evenings is becoming less by the day. This is the first indication that Autumn is upon us and that Winter is lurking just around the corner.

Unless you happen to be a Siberian Husky, you are probably not looking forward to those long, dark, cold months ahead, but being prepared is the key to staying warm and comfortable indoors, as the outside world freezes.

The very last thing you want is to do is to hit the first cold snap of winter, only to discover that your chimney needs sweeping or that the solid fuel stove is in desperate need of a service.

It's not just the chimney seeping and stove servicing that needs addressing either, you will also need to enure that the chimney liner is is a good state of repair too. A damaged chimney liner can be very dangerous if not repaired or replaced.

Chimney liners

People have been using some form of chimney over their open fires for hundreds of years without chimney liners, so why do we need one now? Well, below we will explain why, but just remember that hundreds of years ago there were no health and safety regulations and no record keeping of the number of people who died in house or hut fires. Similarly there were no records of who died from the fumes from fires in enclosed dwelling spaces.

What is a chimney liner?

A chimney liner is a flue lining that is fitted inside a masonry chimney and is made from clay, ceramic, or metal. The chimney liner is intended to keep the combustion products of the fire and fuel contained within the confines of the chimney, until they emerge safely from the top. This allows them to escape into the outside atmosphere, and they protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion. The installation of chimney liners is always recommended. However, most houses built before 1965, which was before a change in the Building Regulations, were built without chimney liners. Chimney flues were usually parged rendered on the inside with lime mortar. This rendering, over time suffered attack from the corrosive elements within the flue gases, resulting in erosion and leakage. This can generally be noted by a sand like material falling down the chimney, also the mortar between the bricks will have deteriorated in the same way.

Houses built after 1966 should have lined flues; this is usually done with clay liners. However, this type of lining is not necessarily suitable for an efficient wood or multi-fuel stove.

Tests have revealed that unlined chimneys are so unsafe that experts have stated that building a chimney without a liner is "nothing short of criminal".

What do chimney liners do?

  1. The chimney liner protects the house from heat transfer to combustibles. Unlined chimneys allow heat to move through the chimney so rapidly that any adjacent woodwork can catch fire in just three hours.
  2. Chimney liners protect the masonry from the corrosive byproducts of combustion. Tests have shown that if the flue gases were allowed to penetrate the bricks and mortar of the chimney, the result would be a chimney with a reduced life span. The flue gases are acidic in nature and will eat away at the mortar joints from inside the chimney. As the mortar joints break down, heat transfers more rapidly to any nearby combustibles and dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide can leak into the living areas of the home, causing nausea, headaches and even death.
  3. Chimney liners provide a correctly sized flue for optimum efficiency of fires and stoves. Modern wood stoves and gas or oil burners require a correctly sized flue to work properly. The chimney is responsible for not only allowing the waste fire and fuel products out of your home, but the draft generated by the chimney also supplies air to the appliance, allowing it to burn efficiently. An incorrectly sized chimney liner can lead to excessive creosote buildup in woodburning stoves, and the production of carbon monoxide with conventional fuels.

Cowls and bird guards

Like the chimney liner, you need to ensure your chimney is protected from downdraughts, leaves and water ingress with a cowl and a bird guard will prevent any unwanted nesting from taking place in your chimney. Birds and squirrels will make a home in your chimney if you give them half a chance and their nests not only cause potentially lethal blockages, they can absorb water and create damp patches within your chimney.

Chimney sweeping

By far the best way to detect if any problems are present in your chimney is to have it professionally swept. Ansell chimneys are always on hand to carry out a thorough sweep. We can also fit and service the very highest quality solid fuel stoves, whether wood burning or multi-fuel.

So get ready for winter with Ansell chimneys. Having your chimney swept by Ansell Chimneys is a clean, fuss free procedure that will only take about 45 minutes. We are based in Watford and cover all areas of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

Ansell Chimneys will bring our own clean floor covering sheets specifically designed for the chimney sweeping trade and lay these in front of your fire place. We then seal off the fireplace using a soot sheet and at the same time the correct sized brush and first rod are placed into the chimney along with the hose from our industrial vacuum. We then thoroughly sweep your chimney all the way to the top ensuring that no dust or soot escapes into the room. Once the chimney has been swept all the soot and accumulated debris is inspected to ensure no bits of brickwork or any other debris is found that may indicate signs of internal problems. A smoke test is then carried out to ensure the flue is drawing safely and correctly. We will also be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding any of our other services such as solid fuel stove, cowl and bird guard and chimney lining fitting.

Further information

If you would like to know more or are interested in a quote we would be happy to help. Phone us on 01923 661 614, email us at info@ansellchimneys.co.uk or fill in our free quote form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

Ansell Chimneys

t: 01923 661 614

m: 07941 282 325

Watford

St Albans

Hemel Hempstead

Bushey

Bricket Wood

Rickmansworth

South Oxhey