As part of the Chimney Detective chronicles I’m highlighting why every pro Chimney Sweep should be equipped with a pair of binoculars.
Soon after being trained I went to sweep a colleague’s log burner. Lovely semi detached house with shared chimney stack. A good Chimney Sweep will usually start every job on the approach to your house with an initial view of the chimney arrangements. After the initial meet and greet the process even before unpacking any equipment is to get the binos out and have a really good look at the condition of the chimney stack, pots, cowls etc to ensure they are fit to be swept.
Thank goodness in this instance that the routine was no different as I had serious concern about a chimney pot missing at the point where I later discovered my smoke was emitting from on a smoke check. The brickwork of the stack was in a shocking condition with some of the first layer of bricks obviously just resting at 45 degrees with no mortar to keep them in place. No chimney sweep wants to take risks sweeping and dislodging anything which could cause untold damage. A check of the log burner revealed brickwork lying in the flue which if left and more was to gather could have caused a blockage and carbon monoxide. A warning notice was issued and I’ve recently received these images of what was found once the scaffold went up (to rebuild and drop a liner down to the burner). Shocking condition, the large hole where the pot should be is the end of the chimney flue for the burner! Let the demolition commence. Going for a look on Monday. Thank you Bino’s!