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Book a chimney sweep in time for Autumn

Book a chimney sweep near me – James the Sweep

September is here and that means Autumn is VERY close if you want a chimney sweeping appointment.


Chimney sweep near me – in Hildenborough

‘Chimney Sweep Near Me’ is often the first thing you’d type into Google or similar search engine when you want the top chimney sweep in Hildenborough TN10/TN11 or wherever you live in Kent. For chimney services in Hildenborough (although it’s true there are a number of chimney sweeps in Hildenborough) I offer a highest rated professional chimney inspection service in Hildenborough. That means inspecting and sweeping chimneys for residential and commercial buildings.


Stig of the Dump in Kent – fireplaces and chimneys

Fires and chimneys are strong visual props in the Stig of the Dump, the timeless children’s classic – but did you know that both the book and the late author (Clive King) have strong connections to the county of Kent?


What does a modern chimney sweep look like?

Chimney sweeping is a modern profession

It’s curious how some people react when I tell them I’m a chimney sweep. ‘Oh really? Do they still exist?’… is the kind-of reaction from this minority. I guess that’s because it’s such an ancient trade and they tend to think of Victorian chimney sweeps or Ol’ Bert from Mary Poppins. It can surprise them that sweeps are still engaged in work. These people tend to fall into two categories: those who don’t have an indoor fire, or those who do have an indoor fire but don’t realise chimneys need regular sweeping.


Dedication to the chimney sweeping trade

James the Sweep is the Master Chimney Sweep for Tunbridge Wells & Kent

Becoming a chimney sweep takes dedication to the trade and a lot of time learning safety aspects in all matters related to flues as well as woodburners, open fires and gas fires.


To sweep or not sweep your own chimney?

Sweeping your own chimney is hard work

A question I am occasionally asked by customers is: ‘Can I sweep my own chimney?’ and ‘How long does it take to sweep a chimney?’


Bird’s nest in chimney? Removal, prevention and advice

bird nest removal
Birds’ nests are a dangerous hazard in chimneys

Expert advice from a master chimney sweep on bird’s nest removals, birds nest detection and how to prevent birds nesting in your chimney.


Safety is always a top priority with James the Sweep throughout the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid pandemic continues to cause disruption and concerns for people in Kent and East Sussex. Every day the news on this major crisis changes as we go in and out of lockdowns and Government directives. James the Sweep reassures customers that safety is always his concern.


Trusted – find a professional chimney sweep

Every industry has accreditation and top awards for professionals who do well – so what is it that makes James the Sweep a ‘professional’? Anyone can call him or herself a professional… any Tom, Dick or Harry could pick up a brush, knock on your door and announce that he is a ‘professional chimney sweep’. If he’s charming and has soot smudged on his cheeks, you might believe him.


Government announces a public consultation on air pollutants early next year, 2022

A public consultation on new legal targets for particulate matter; which can be produced in different ways including woodburners, gas fires and open fires; is being launched in early 2022, according to DEFRA.


‘Carbon Monoxide Safe 4 Summer’ campaign is supported by James the Sweep in Kent

James the Sweep – Master Chimney Sweep for Tunbridge Wells – is supporting the ‘Carbon Monoxide Safe 4 Summer’ campaign by the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG).


We need to take the danger of carbon monoxide gas poisoning very seriously

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, invisible gas hardly detectable to humans – and yet it can kill within minutes.


Roast beef, climbing boys and ‘rosbifs’ – a little history as we tuck into carveries in T Wells!

A notable pattern as lockdown eases in Tunbridge Wells, and across Kent generally, is that people are enjoying meals again at pubs and carveries – and nothing quite beats a cracking roast dinner as a pick-me-up.


Keep your fire (safely) burning if you’re working from home in the Covid pandemic!

The disruption caused by the Covid pandemic has led to more people working from home. In fact, some workers are unlikely to return to ‘normal’ in-the-office routinues for a very long time, if at all. Thank goodness technology exists online to make it possible for people to work in the safety of their own house, especially as we see the Covid situation continuing to cause disruption.


Royal Tunbridge Wells – cosy fireplaces, superb shops and a revitalising spring!

Relaxation is something of an industry in Royal Tunbridge Wells – and enjoying woodburners at home is proof of that.

Families in T Wells are known to love sitting around a cheerful fireplace in their houses – with peace of mind if the town’s master chimney sweep, James the Sweep, has swept the chimney. That sense of appreciating leisure is prevalent in the culture of the local area and it’s not just the welcoming sight of active logburners (much needed this month with the cold spell we’ve been having!) – the natural spa is, of course, the hallmark of relaxation for Tunbridge Wells. Yes, T Wells is famous for its splendid shopping scene too. But the healthy waters have created a whole history of ‘downtime’ for both townsfolk and visitors alike.


3 solid reasons to book a professional chimney sweep after you move into a new family home

The housing market is doing well at the moment and perhaps you are planning a move to one of the hotspots in the county of Kent, such as Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Southborough, Maidstone or Sevenoaks.

If you do buy a home, no doubt you will have had the necessary surveys done and you’re satisfied with the results or have ideas on how to resolve any issues with the property.


The county of Kent’s strong association with the Royal family, such as Diana and Sophie

Diana speaking at her former school West Heath Girls’ School. [Photo sourced from publicly available ITN film footage]

The Royal Family has been in the headlines a lot in recent months, especially with the death of Prince Phillp, and controversy about media appearances by the Duke & Duchess of Sussex (Prince Harry and Meghan).

Kent as a county has historic links with the Royals and a modern, particularly poignant personage is the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who was mother to both Prince William and his brother Harry. Diana was a former pupil at West Heath Girls’ School in Ashgrove Road, Sevenoaks. She was at the school in the 1970s, called the ‘happiest days’ of her life, it is reported that she said.


Read the FACTS about new legal rules on the burning of solid fuel in logburners or open fires

You ARE allowed to burn dry wood in our log burner or open fire. You ARE also allowed to burn manufactured solid fuels. Fact: burning dry wood produces ‘more heat and less soot than wet wood and can reduce emissions by up to 50%’ [UK Government].


Top tips by James the Sweep for preparing wooden logs for burning in your woodburner

How do you know when your wood is ready to burn in your woodburner or open fire?

First of all, prepare your wood. It takes two years for wood to reach a seasoned level, which is appropriately ready to burn. That means a moisture content of 20 per cent or less. The recommended method for seasoning wood is storing in small logs in a proper wood store outside. But do make sure that the wood is elevated off the ground so it won’t get damp and it must also be protected from the weather elements (properly covered) whilst allowing for sufficient air flow.


A bird’s nest at the top of a chimney is a danger to your household and needs urgent removal

No doubt you’ve glanced up at your roof on a sunny day this Springtime and noticed a jackdaw or other bird (a stork?!) keeping busy at the top of your chimney.
It can warm the heart to see a bird seemingly feathering its nest so close to home… your home, in fact.
Yet even the most avid twitcher can’t deny the fact that it’s really not in the bird’s best interest to create a nest at the top of your flue.