The past few months have seen us traveling as far as Whitstable, Dover, Folkestone and Ashford to the East and down to Hastings in the South. This is alongside the work in our usual areas which has kept us very busy of late.

A big part of the work we have undertaken recently has been pre-installation sweeps for a Stove company called Woodburning Solutions Kent, who we highly recommend, and for regular clients getting their stoves and open fires swept during the summer months. We have also had a very big increase of new work which has come from regular customers passing on our details and recommending us to friends.

Also our website has over the last couple of years, generated a large amount of new clients. To you all, a very big Thank You for your custom, recomendations and repeat business.

A few months back I was invited to join the team at the Institute of Chimney Sweeps. I was offered a position to become a Training Course Tutor on their monthly courses, alongside Chris and Liam, at the ICS training centre in Maidstone. I accepted without any hesitation.

The courses ICS run are for people who are looking for a career change and a new challenge in the world of chimney sweeping. Also on the courses are sweeps who have been in the business for many years and have come along as they feel that it is a good move to join the UK’s biggest Chimney Sweeps Association and have all the backing and guidance that this offers. I myself was on one of these courses a few years back and have found it to be invaluable.

I have over the last couple of years also been a Mentor for ICS. This entails going around the South East of England offering guidance and assistance to sweeps old and new. A big part of the mentoring we do is checking that ICS chimney sweeps have all the necessary equipment to perform the task of chimney sweeping and also have all the safety (PPE) equipment needed in our industry to perform the job correctly in the customer’s households.

Hoovers / extraction equipment are a big part of the modern chimney sweeps armoury and should be of an H rating standard. These hoovers are quite expensive but reduce the harmful carcinogenic soot particles entering the customer’s home. Gone are the days when someone can turn up at a client’s home with a Henry Hover and a set of old drain rods and one worn out brush. (Well they have at the Institute of Chimney Sweeps and anyway)
I personally use a Kerstar Hoover with twin motors, double filters and a micro fibre containment bag which collects the waste / soot and makes it an even cleaner method of sweeping.

All ICS sweeps are encouraged to embrace modern sweeping techniques such as Power Sweeping whilst still being encouraged to use the tried and tested method of manual sweeping. After a three month period all new ICS members spend a day with a mentor such as myself and we will assess their sweeping methods and equipment before they are signed off and can join the vast amount of competent chimney sweeps on the ICS register and website.

In my next blog I will be giving you an insight into some of the things I see with regards to Stove installations. Good and Bad!!

All the Best

Clive Scott

Remember you can always follow me on Twitter @CliveTheSweep

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