Call1300 0 SWEEP 1300 07 93 37
Proud member of Australian Home Heating

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question that’s not listed below, feel free to call.

How often should I sweep my chimney?

We recommend chimneys, fireplaces, and vents be inspected at least once a year and cleaned if necessary. If you use your fireplace or stove frequently or burn certain types of fuel (such as pine or other resinous woods), you may need to have your chimney swept more often. If you use your fireplace infrequently, you may be able to wait longer between sweeps. A professional chimney sweep will be able to advise you on the appropriate schedule for your specific situation

Why do I need to sweep my chimney?

Sweeping your chimney is important for several reasons:

  1. Safety: A build-up of creosote, a flammable by-product of burning wood, can lead to chimney fires. Sweeping removes creosote and reduces the risk of a fire.
  2. Efficiency: A clogged chimney can reduce the efficiency of your fireplace or stove, making it            harder to heat your home and increasing the risk of carbon monoxide build-up.
  3. Health: A dirty chimney can release harmful particles and pollutants into your home. Sweeping      removes these contaminants and improves the air quality in your home.
  4. Maintenance: Sweeping your chimney regularly can help prolong the life of your chimney and        prevent costly repairs in the future.
  5. Insurance: our home insure might mandate that you sweep your chimney at least once a year,       and failure to do so may result in not being covered if there is a claim.

There could be several reasons why it’s hard for you to light or maintain a fire in your fireplace or stove. Some possible causes include:


  1. Drafting issues: If the chimney is not drafting properly, it can be difficult to get a fire started or to keep it burning. This can be caused by a variety of issues, including a clogged chimney, a chimney that’s too short, or a chimney that’s not properly angled.
  2. Airflow problems: If there’s not enough air getting to the fire, it will be hard to start and maintain. This can be caused by closed or blocked vents, or by a problem with the flue.
  3. Lack of kindling or proper wood: If you’re not using the right type of wood or enough kindling, it will be difficult to get a fire going. Softwoods like pine, for example, will ignite quickly but burn fast and can create more creosote. Hardwoods like oak, on the other hand, burn more slowly  and produce less creosote.
  4. Wet or green wood: If the wood you’re using is wet or green, it will be difficult to light and maintain a fire. Wet or green wood contains a lot of moisture, which can make it hard to ignite and can also lead to a lot of smoke and creosote build up.
  5. Lack of proper maintenance: If your chimney or fireplace is not clean, it can be hard to light or maintain a fire. A build-up of creosote can block the flue and make it difficult for smoke and gases to escape.
How will you protect my house from stains?

We clear the surrounding area of the fireplace, then using drop sheets and other specialist protective gear we prevent the soot from entering the home during the sweep.

What causes chimney fires?

Chimney fires are caused by a build-up of creosote, a flammable by-product of burning wood. Creosote is created when the smoke from a fire cool and condenses on the inside of the chimney. If the creosote is not removed through regular chimney sweeping, it can build up and become a fire hazard.

There are several factors that can contribute to a higher risk of chimney fires:

  1. Burning unseasoned wood: Unseasoned or “green” wood has a high moisture content and                produces more creosote than seasoned wood.
  2. Burning garbage or treated wood: Burning garbage or treated wood releases chemicals that can create a highly combustible creosote build-up in the chimney.
  3. Improperly installed or maintained chimneys: If a chimney is not properly installed or maintained, it can be more susceptible to creosote build-up and chimney fires.
  4. Insufficient air supply: If a fire does not have enough air to burn, it will produce more smoke and creosote.
  5. Lack of regular chimney cleaning: If a chimney is not cleaned regularly, creosote can build up and increase the risk of a chimney fire.

It is important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a professional chimney sweep, to ensure that creosote build-up is removed and the risk of a chimney fire is minimised.


Water in a fireplace can be caused by several factors, including:

  1. Leaks: Water can leak into the fireplace through the chimney or through cracks or gaps in the        fireplace itself. This can be caused by missing or damaged flashing, a damaged chimney crown, or other issues.
  2. Condensation: In certain situations, condensation can occur inside the chimney. This happens when the warm air inside the chimney cools rapidly and turns into water vapor as it comes in contact with the cool chimney walls.
  3. Rainwater: If the chimney cap is missing or damaged, rainwater can enter the chimney and collect in the fireplace.
  4. High humidity: High humidity inside the house can cause moisture to condense inside the chimney.
  5. Water table: If the water table is high, it can cause water to seep into the fireplace through the       foundation.

It is important to address the issue of water in the fireplace as soon as possible. It can cause damage to the structure of the house, can create mould, and can also cause health issues. A professional chimney sweep, or mason should be consulted to identify the cause of the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Do I need a chimney pot / Cowl?

A chimney pot or cowl is not a necessary component of a chimney, but it serves several important purposes:

  1. Increased draft: A chimney pot can increase the draft, or the flow of air, in the chimney. This can help improve the efficiency of the fireplace or stove and reduce the risk of smoke and carbon monoxide entering the home.
  2. Rain protection: A cowl can prevent rainwater from entering the chimney and can also prevent debris such as leaves and birds/possum nests from getting into the chimney.
  3. Prevent down draft: A cowl can also prevent down draft, which occurs when cold air enters the chimney and pushes smoke back into the room.
  4. Improving the look: Some people install a chimney pot to improve the look of their chimney, since they come in various designs and styles.

It is important to note that if you’re installing a chimney pot or cowl, it should be the appropriate size and type for your chimney and should be installed by a professional to ensure that it is properly secured and does not impede the proper function of the chimney.

If you’re experiencing draft or downdraft issues, or if your chimney is frequently blocked by debris, installing a cowl may help solve these problems. But you should consult with a professional chimney sweep or mason to determine the best solution for your situation.



A slow combustion fire, also known as a closed or sealed combustion fireplace, is a type of fireplace that is designed to burn wood more efficiently than an open fireplace. Here are some benefits of a slow combustion fire over an open fire:

  1. Increased efficiency: Slow combustion fires are designed to burn wood more efficiently, which means that they produce less creosote, less smoke, and less ash. They also generate more heat and require less wood to maintain a fire.
  2. Better heat distribution: Slow combustion fires are designed to distribute heat more evenly throughout the room, which can make the room more comfortable.
  3. Improved air quality: Slow combustion fires produce less smoke and pollutants than open fires, which can improve the air quality in your home.
  4. Safety: Slow combustion fires are less likely to cause chimney fires, and some have built-in safety features such as flue temperature monitoring, and fire shut offs that can prevent carbon monoxide build-up
  5. Aesthetics: Slow combustion fires are designed to be more visually appealing than open fires and can be integrated into the design of a room.
  6. Lower maintenance: Slow combustion fires require less maintenance than open fires, as they burn wood more efficiently, produce less creosote, and require less cleaning.

It’s important to note that slow combustion fireplaces also have different ventilation requirements and may not be suitable for all types of homes. It is best to consult a professional to determine if a slow combustion fireplace is the right choice for your home.

What are the benefits of an Open Fireplace?

An open fire refers to a traditional fireplace where the fire burns in an open chamber, with no doors or enclosures. While slow combustion fireplaces are designed to be more efficient and produce less smoke, there are still some benefits of an open fire over a slow combustion fire:

  1. Ambiance: An open fire creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, with the dancing flames and crackling sound providing a sense of warmth and cosiness that can be hard to replicate with a slow combustion fire.
  2. Less complex: An open fire is generally less complex and easier to operate than a slow combustion fire. They also don’t require electricity to operate, which can be beneficial in case of power outages.
  3. Cost: An open fire may be a more cost-effective option as it generally requires less investment than a slow combustion fire.
  4. Tradition: Some people prefer the traditional look and feel of an open fire over a slow combustion fire.
  5. Cooking: Some people still use open fireplaces for cooking, in case of power outages, or as a traditional way of cooking.

It’s important to note that open fireplaces can be less efficient and produce more smoke and pollutants than slow combustion fireplaces, which can affect the air quality in your home. They also require more maintenance and cleaning to prevent creosote build-up, which can increase the risk of chimney fires. It’s best to consult a professional to determine if an open fire is the right choice for your home.

What is needed to restore my fireplace?

To restore a fireplace, the following steps may be necessary:

  1. Inspection: A professional should inspect the fireplace and chimney to determine the condition and identify any issues that need to be addressed.
  2. Cleaning: The fireplace and chimney should be thoroughly cleaned to remove soot, ash, and debris.
  3. Repairs: Any damages or issues identified during the inspection should be repaired, such as            cracks in the firebox or chimney, or a damaged chimney cap.
  4. Restoration: The fireplace and chimney may need to be restored to their original condition, such as repainting or re-pointing bricks.
  5. Upgrades: Modernise the fireplace with new features or technology.
  6. Professional installation and operation: Are important to ensure the safety and efficiency of the        fireplace by having it installed and operated by a professional.

It is also important to keep in mind that the restoration process may vary depending on the age, condition, and type of fireplace you have.