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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.

The simple fact is that chimney cleaners, or rather sweeps, belong to a profession that’s entirely relevant to the modern age, especially when everyone is so concerned about climate change and air pollution.

Chimney sweeping is proven to benefit the environment by ensuring that flues are efficient for consumption. That means harmful gas is able to leave safely and, as long as the consumer is burning dry wood at a high burn rate, the most efficient use is being made of the wood as a fuel energy source.

Google ‘chimney sweep near me’ or ‘chimney sweep Kent’ and you will see my website and reviews popping up for the T Wells area – I have a robust clientele across the county (Maidstone, Orpington, Sevenoaks, etc.), whom I have supported for at least 20 years. The sheer numbers alone in my client contact book shows that chimney sweeping is definitely an in-demand and contemporary trade.

A modern chimney sweep should look entirely professional. A tradesman such as myself who has completed a number of chimney sweep courses with a trade body such as the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps. Chimney sweeps do look different these days. We use vans, not horses and carts; power sweeping brushes or fit-for-flue sized manual brushes, not old mops; CCTV not boy or girl sweeps (!); proper overalls not 19th century sooty clothes; and we are accredited with proper trade organisations, not drinking pals at the local tavern!

Chimney sweeping has developed over centuries and its current evolved form is a highly respected profession, which involves fire and carbon monoxide gas risk safety assessment, reliable sweeping methods and sound recommendations on related matters such as bird’s nest removal, chimney flue repairs, and woodburner efficiency.