Booking in any trade for the first time can feel a little daunting. We all want to make sure we say the right things and avoid making any mistakes that might make us look a little silly. Learning the lingo is helpful when talking to any trade but just for the purposes of booking your sweep, here is everything you need to know.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Your chimney sweep will want to work with you to arrange your appointment and will take the time to answer any questions you have. Don’t be afraid to ask when you are unsure about anything; it is in both of your interests to be on the same page before the appointment.
Offer your availability upfront
A Chimney Sweeps calendar is a very hectic thing, particularly in the winter burning season (Or ‘Silly Season’ as we call it). Your sweep will want to offer you their soonest availability and may need to coordinate with people in your area to find a suitable date/time. If there are certain days, dates or times that you cannot do, let your sweep know on your introductory email. Your sweep will then be able to find an appointment slot that suits both your schedules.
Give as much information as you can
Often Sweeps receive emails asking simply, “Can you sweep my Chimney?” followed by their address. The answer is of course, yes, but for your sweep to plan an appointment, we need to know what it is that actually needs sweeping. Below are the most common swept Chimneys for reference:
- A lined appliance (Woodburner/ Kitchen Range, Pellet burner, Oil boiler, ETC)
- ‘Lined’ with a stainless-steel flue from the appliance, to the top of the chimney
- An unlined appliance
- Attached to a stainless-steel flue which does no ascend the full length of the Chimney
- An Open Fire
- Exhaust gases often evacuating up a brick chimney
- External Flue
- A twin wall (insulated) flue on the exterior of the property, attached also to the appliance. A twin wall flue will have a soot trap which will require emptying during the sweep.
Let your sweep know what appliance(s) or type of fire(s) you have, the flue(s) that will need sweeping and any other details which you think might be useful. If you require services other than standard Chimney Sweeping, let your sweep know what you are looking for so they can help you best or direct you to someone who can.
Raise any concerns upfront
Perhaps you think your wood has been a bit wet this year, you think there may be a nest in the Chimney or maybe you think the stove rope might need replacing. Your Chimney Sweep will be more than happy to help you with any issues you raise, however if they are not aware of said issues before the appointment, they may not have factored in enough time to tackle them before they leave for their next appointment of the day. For example, if you need a new stove rope in addition to your chimney being swept, you may find that your sweep will have to come back another day and change the stove rope, costing you both time (and potentially a call out fee).
Photos are always a great help. Most issues that can occur with Chimneys and their installations are repeat offenders. If you are sending an email, consider sending a photo to your sweep of your fireplace, closure plate and/or any issues you wish to alert them to: It can be a great help in your Chimney Sweep’s assessment. Multiple times I have been sent photos which pointed directly to a new installation being necessary. Those customers were able to save themselves time, a call out fee and were able to get a head start on contacting an installer. In the case that your sweep also installs, this will help them plan their schedule around an inspection visit in order to provide a quote for remedial works.
Other than that, just remember to include your details, including your address and your sweep will get back to you as soon as they can.
What to include
Appliances/Chimneys to be swept
There you have it. It’s not so hard at all. Now go and make that phone call or send that email and book your Chimney Sweep like a pro.