This month has seen another steady increase in work in Kent and South East London.
As in every walk of life, working in a new area brings with it a whole new set of challenges and problems, and this month I have seen my fair share of the two combined.
Sweeping in the Gravesend, Dartford, Bexley and Longfield areas I have come across Chimneys which have been used whilst having “Bonnet Hood” inserts in-place. These are only intended for venting an un-used Chimney and “NOT” for working Chimneys. What concerns me is that these Chimneys have been used and Swept over the years and the customer is totally unaware of the situation regarding the Poor Venting and the High Risk of CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING associated with them.
Most of the Clients who have contacted us with their concerns regarding cowls have done so in the main, via our website clivescottchimneysweeps.co.uk and also after talking to customers whose chimneys we have swept and given advice too.
One client who contacted us via a recommendation from one of his neighbours , said, over the phone, that he thought he had the wrong cowl on his Chimney as smoke kept bellowing out into the room last winter.
This situation can be caused by all manner of things i.e.: Atmospheric Pressure, Wind Directions, Trees and Other Buildings in the close proximity, not just an incorrect cowl.
When I arrived, looking up at his pot, I couldn’t believe it as I saw a metal GAS cowl fitted. The cowl, apart from being wrong for his open fire, was totally clogged up!
Speaking to the customer I was amazed as he told me that he had brought up his concerns when it was last swept and was told “Its ok mate it’s only there to stop the birds”.
Needless to say the person who swept it left “No Certificate”
With the customers permission we did a Smoke Draw Test with the Gas Cowl fitted and before we swept the Chimney.
Another Smoke Draw Test after sweeping the chimney with the Gas Cowl still in place.
And a further and final Smoke Draw Test with the Gas Cowl removed.
The customer, who was present throughout, was stunned by the difference in the draw of his Chimney after these three stages took place.
The appropriate Cowl was fitted and we also fitted a Carbon Monoxide Alarm.
Pictures of the Cowl we removed will be put on here shortly.
If you are going to use your fire this winter and are unsure about anything at all please contact us as we will be happy to go over any concerns you may have.
Sample of Cowls which are not suitable for Open Fires.
Also see a lot of these fitted at the top of stacks too.
Until the next time,
Clive Scott at Clive Scott Chimney Sweeps.