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    The sealed up fireplace and the 2 with 70s gas fires I have just opened seem to have been properly capped, but not properly ventilated or swept, when they were sealed up.

    I'm sure other people had dads like this, but I also just found a new set of chimney brushes in the cellar that he bought in about 1980 before we put the second lot of log burners in at home after we had the chimney fire where the first one set fire to the wooden beams which the Jacobeans had built across the chimney shaft.

    They were never used since the Boss said No.

    Has anyone swept a chimney? Any gotchas to watch out for?

    Essential equipment seems to be:

    Chimney. Check.
    Brushes. Check.
    Henry Hoover, dust for the recovery of. Check.
    Facemask. Check.
    Poly-sheet and sticky tape, lounge for the protection of. Check.
    Dustpan and brush. Check.
    Sprayer, dust clouds for the laying of. Check.
    iPod tape of Mary Poppins. Check.

    My risks are low as the room is to be gutted and redecorated.

    Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

    We have found that it works best to get the brush to the top of the chimney first (by adding poles and pushing up), then to come down brushing a section at a time with a circular action (and then removing the pole).

    Sorry if you knew that already.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


      You do need to watch out for pigeons and the remains of Victorian chimney boys.

      But seriously

      The big risk is flue lining render, mortar or loose bricks- in an old house it might be an idea to cover the opening ( or leave the existing board in place for now) with plywood or mdf, and poke the brush through a hole in that first, as a sizeable brick would rip through polythene, but bounce off the board.

      We can't do much if you end up with a big lump on your bonce
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


        I hoovered my fireplace with a Vax, and the dust was too fine for the paper bag. It sprayed out on the wall, and I had to repaint. Beware!

        I would get a pro in if I were you. In 1998 it was only about £45 per chimney in London.


          One fireplace somewhat demolished. Will be completed in the morning when SDS hammer-drilling hours are socially acceptable to the other half of the pair of semis and Labrador and owner will not go beserk.

          3 chimneys swept.

          No brushes lost.

          One fireplace worth of rubble extracted with shovel.

          No bonces bonked.

          About 2 buckets of stuff recovered from chimneys capped off in about 1977 (date on paper stuffed into one closed fireplace).

          All ventilated-capped chimneypots still present and correct on the roof.

          Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.


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