You start them young. Not ‘children’ young; we’ve moved on a bit from Victorian times, but most sweeps start out as apprentices. They learn and train with a more experienced sweep before starting out on their own.
And there’s a lot more to learn these days. Chimney sweeping is on the up as a business (in more ways than one). Sweeps nowhave to look after wood burning stoves and other appliances. The trend for these has meant that there’s even more sweeping to be done.
If you go to a dedicated chimney sweep training centre you will find a large room filled with various types of stove. These are constantly being installed and removed by trainees, who will need to be able to help people choose the right model, calculate the size needed to heat their home efficiently, and then install and maintain the appliance.
Wood burning stoves require a very efficient chimney (60% plus). This is to make sure the flue is hot enough and clear enough to take up gases and chemicals from the fire and expel them into the air efficiently. Chimney sweeps have to be trained in this area too. Alongside the appliances in the training centres there will also be various types of flue – clay tile, steel rigid and steel flexible… Trainee sweeps have to be able to assemble them to the right standard before they can be HETAS accredited.
Once a chimney sweep knows his or her stuff they get all their certificates and accreditations. This means that when you find a chimney sweep you know that they will do a good job safely. They will be able to access your roof and operate very safely up there. They will look after your home as they do their work. Anything they clean, fit or maintain will be done to the highest standards and can be signed off on to satisfy insurers.