Q: What should I look for when choosing a chimney sweep?
A: Pick a member of a professional trade association.
PH Olivier is an approved sweep with HETAS and also a member of APICS. A professional chimney sweep should always use a rod and brush system alongside efficient equipment to carry out the job. PH Olivier has been trained to exceptional high standards in sweeping methods. We adhere to the APICS Code of Conduct at all times, which provides reassurance that you will receive a professional service. Word of mouth along with personal recommendations will also help you to make the right choice.
PH Olivier provides a full chimney cleaning and advisory service. We also provide a courtesy reminder system to notify you when your chimney is next due to be swept.
Q/ Why do I need to have my chimney swept?
A/ Having your chimney swept on the recommended frequency will in most cases prevent a build up of soot, creosote and tar deposits. This is vital in preventing chimney fires and Carbon Monoxide emissions. Regular chimney sweeping will help to maintain full efficiency of your chimney.
Q/ How often should I have my chimney swept?
A Recommended frequency is as follows:
Gas Appliance: Once a year – if designed for chimney sweeping
Oil: Once a year
Smokeless Fuels: Minimum once a year
Bitumous Coal: Minimum twice a year
Wood: Quarterly when in use.
Q/ I haven’t used my fire much or at all over the last year. Do I still need to have my chimney swept?
A We would always recommend having your chimney swept at least once a year.
We are not always able to tell what could be up there inside the chimney until we start sweeping. The only way to ensure it is safe to use is to have it swept.
Your insurance could stipulate having your chimney swept once a year and by not doing so you could invalidate the insurance.
Q/ When is the best time to have my chimney swept?
A/ We recommend having your chimney swept in the spring or summer time. Not only is your chimney used less frequently, there is less disruption, and the chimney will have had time to dry out.
Q/ Should I have a smoke alarm and / or Carbon Monoxide alarm installed?
A/ Yes. Everyone who burns solid fuel and / or uses gas should have both a smoke alarm and an audio Carbon Monoxide alarm. Only install alarms that have the Kitemark symbol. You should have an audio Carbon monoxide alarm for each Carbon Monoxide producing appliance in the property. We can supply and install CO and smoke alarms. Please ask us about this service when booking your sweep appointment.
Q/ How much will it cost to have my chimney swept?
A/ We have a transparent rate structure in place, whereby there is no hourly rate to any of our work. Prices do not have VAT added on. Fees are payable on completion of work either by cash or cheque. Please refer to our Terms & Conditions and Rates page for further information.
Q/ Do you issue certificates?
A/ Yes we issue certificates on completion of work, which are accepted by insurance companies. Where we have been unable to carry out the sweep, we will provide a written report – this could be in form of a note on the certificate.
Q/ How is the sweeping carried out and will it make a mess?
A/ We pride ourselves on using the traditional brush and rod system accompanied by a high-tech industrial vacuum. This process ensures efficient removal of soot and debris. As we completely seal off the fireplace, there should be very little mess. In the exceptional case of a bird’s nest or other complications, a mess could be unavoidable. Where this is the case, we will usually be able to advise you during the chimney inspection, prior to sweeping.
Q/ How should I prepare for the sweep?
• A/ Allow the fire to go out the previous night so that the fireplace and chimney are cool.
• Ensure there is a clear walkway to the chimney with adequate space for working.
• Pets and children should be kept away from the vicinity.
• We recommend removing anything precious within the vicinity prior to your sweep’s arrival.
• Your chimney is swept using the traditional brush and rod system. An industrial specifically designed BVC vacuum is used alongside this process to extract soot, dust and debris.
• The entrance to the fireplace is sealed off keeping soot and debris to a minimum.
• Do feel free to cover any soft furnishings for extra peace of mind.
On a traditional note – your children may like to go outside to see the top of the sweep’s brush poking out from the top of the chimney as this is considered good luck.
*Visit our Preparing For Your Chimney Sweep Page for further information.
Q/ How long should I allow for my sweep appointment?
A/ Chimney sweeping usually takes between 30 – 40 minutes. However, due to the nature of the work and chimneys and appliances, Pascal may encounter complications that can impede on this time.
Q/ Can you give me a time for my appointment?
A/ Whilst we endeavour to give a specific time slot, please be advised that appointment slots are approximate times only. Pascal carries out methodical work with thorough safety checks. This can take time as due care and attention is required. Also due to unforeseen circumstances issues can arise causing delays. Conversely, Pascal may be working ahead of schedule. If you have any pressing appointments then we would advise to schedule in your chimney sweep on a separate date.
Q/ What should I do if I need to cancel or change my appointment?
A/ Where possible, please inform us at least 24 hours beforehand.