Please get a professional chimney sweep

Last night on Rogue Traders was a so called chimney sweep working in and around London ripping of people off London by bring in to the customers home’s dead birds in a bag and telling them it was in their chimney. Please get a Professional chimney sweep here at Essex & Suffolk sweeps we are proud to be with the guild of master chimney and are Hetas approved chimney sweep and a Hetas installer of solid fuel appliances .

How to remove birds nests from your chimney

It’s Spring which means bird nesting season is in full swing. All home and business owners with chimneys should be aware of the annual potential invasion from birds’ looking to take residence. Nests with or without birds living in them can cause various chimney structure problems and are a fire hazard.


Why do birds nest in chimneys?


Jackdaws in a chimneyBirds seek out chimneys to roost in as in their opinion they are an attractive, safe, dry home; essentially a perfect place to raise their young!


Jackdaws and barn swallows are the most common birds to nest in chimneys. Swallows in particular hatch in 15 days and the young continue to use the nest for up to three weeks. Meaning it is important to hire a chimney sweep as soon as you suspect nesting is occurring.


How do you know if a bird is nesting in your chimney?


The first sign that you have a bird in the chimney flue is the presence of a few twigs, or other non-chimney materials dropping down into your fire place. This is the stage in which you should give a chimney sweep a call.


Alternatively, you may notice birds flying back and forth around your chimney pot, or you may hear an excessive amount of tweeting or cooing whilst inside or outside your residence.


How do birds build chimney nests?


Birds will find twigs that are just the right width to lodge in the chimney flue. They will gradually build the twig layers upwards similar to a scaffold until they are around six feet from the top of the

Chimney diagram showing where a cowl should be fitted

chimney; at which point they build the nest. As the nest nears completion it will reach the top of the flue. The bird will then add materials such as horse manure, moss, grass, hair and fur where it plans on laying the eggs. This upper layer often forms a solid dung mass which is hard to break and remove.

You must never try and light a fire whilst there’s a nest in the chimney. This is because you run the risk of smoke entering the room and the twigs igniting – potentially causing a chimney fire. If you have a gas fire, this can be deadly as carbon monoxide could leak into your room and you’ll be none the wiser unless you have a carbon monoxide detector alarm.


What should you do if a bird is actively nesting in your chimney?


Nesting birds are protected by law, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which means removing, destroying or tampering with an active nest would be illegal. The act protects eggs, live young, and mothering birds. Consequently, it is key to not let the situation escalate if you suspect a bird may have its eye on your chimney!

If you realise that a bird is nesting late on in their building process chimney sweeps can still be of service as a point of call for advice. They will remove any nests blockages but may have to wait until the end of the breeding season (July onwards.)


What does the nest removal process entail?

Birds nest removed from chimney

Believe it or not nest removal is an extremely physical and time-consuming job. Removing the nest produces a surprising amount of debris which needs to be bagged up and removed. To remove a birds’ nest a small brush is used to puncture the nest, this loosens the nests materials. Next, larger brushes are used to sweep out the remainder of the debris. Lastly, a fire test is conducted by the chimney sweep to ensure that the sweep has been effective.


How can birds be prevented from nesting in chimneys?


Chimney sweeps can fit a bird guarding cap, cage or cowl over your chimney. In the future this will provide ongoing protection from any birds, insects or animals entering your chimney. It is vital to get the chimney cap fitted immediately after the nest removal process. If you leave it 24 hours, the birds may begin to rebuild the nest. Within a very short period a frantic bird may have layered up enough twigs to block the chimney for a second time.

Plus, birds that nest in your chimney are very likely to return again the next year to nest in the same place. Although, it’s worth noting that bird guards need to be chosen with care. They must be made of stainless steel if they are to have any decent lifespan. These can be painted or covered in powder coating to make them look aesthetically pleasing.

Here at ES Sweeps we have over thirty years of chimney sweeping experience and are able to remove any nests left by our feathered friends promptly and professionally. If you have any queries get in touch now on 07545 976 100

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Installing or reopening a fireplace?

Sufficient room ventilation is a must when installing or considering reopening a fireplace. This is because in order for a fire to properly burn it requires a considerable amount of air. Without this the fire will produce large amounts of Carbon Monoxide which is extremely dangerous. Whilst vents may not be needed in older homes, due to already having sufficient ventilation, modern homes will require this.

Regardless of what fuel your fireplace burns, a vent is required. Fitters will have a range of vents available from simple grills, to more complex ducts. However, it may be a cheaper option to check out your DIY stores first. These vents must not be closable, and the amount of ventilation required must be equal to, or at least 50% of the throat opening to the chimney or flue.

This need not apply if you’re reopening a fireplace, unless extensive building work has been done or the fireplace has been redesigned.  All vents new or old must comply with building regulations, proving the vents cannot be blocked, removed or altered. Installers will fit the vents to minimise this and to help prevent noise coming through and drafts.

Quite often, home owners have found their rooms to be colder since having the vents installed. Where you have your vent installed is an important factor to consider when deciding to have a fireplace installed or reopened. If the vent has been installed at ground level away from the fireplace the cold air will not mix with the warmer air already in the room creating the draft.

The ideal place to have your vent fitted would be on the wall next to the fireplace, this is because the cold air coming in from the vent can go straight up the chimney without cooling the room.


Essex & Suffolk sweeps are based in the South Essex area but cover all surrounding areas from woodbridge in Suffolk right through to Kent areas.

For more information contact us

Your London Chimney Sweep

There is nothing more beautiful then having a blazing fire going on those cold days. However, what people aren’t aware of is the safety benefits that a regular London Chimney Sweep can bring to your London home. A lot of London house fires in the past have been caused due to a build-up of creosote in the interior of their Chimney. Creosote is a highly flammable substance which builds up in your Chimney or its liner as a result of burning wood. Something which a good Chimney Sweep can help prevent.

Because of this, homeowners are encouraged to have their Chimney Swept on a regular basis to remove this build-up and protect the house. The frequency of how many times you have your Chimney Swept is dependant upon how often the Chimney is used and what type of fire you have. For example, a wood burner would require more attention due to the build- up of Creosote being a lot higher. Yearly Chimney Sweep inspections should be conducted, despite how often your Chimney is in action. This is because pests can make nests in your Chimney, something which you may not be able to detect, unless you light your Chimney or get a Chimney Sweep inspection.

Chimney Sweep inspections will also ensure that everything is in working order and operating as it should. Our dedicated team can inspect and clean the chimney in your London home, if they decide upon the chimney inspection that it does not require a chimney sweep, they may advise you that they are fine until next time.

Get your Chimney Sweep booked in ready for the big day

Have you booked in for a Chimney Sweep?

There is nothing more picturesque than having the family sit around the fire embracing the Christmas spirit. However, what many people forget to do during the build up to Christmas is to get their chimney sweep. Not only is it essential to have your chimney swept ready for the big man to slide down with all your presents, but it is also a safety requirement.

There are many individuals out there that believe they can clean their own chimney. However, this is not recommended by ES Sweeps nor most Fire Safety Institutes. An experienced chimney sweeper will ensure all debris and build up is thoroughly cleaned. They will also check for and remove birds’ nests, as this is a common problem with open fire chimneys.

Our dedicated team will not only clean your chimney, removing the soot and debris, but we will also inspect the infrastructure of your chimney for any hidden damage. A highly beneficial service for those who have had a chimney for several years. Not only does a regular chimney sweep help prevent house fires, it can also save you money in the long run. This is because most chimneys will have some sort of flue liner installed. A flue liner is the first line of defence against house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. However, moisture can get trapped if the flue liner has a large build-up of soot and debris, corroding the liner. By having regular sweeps, you will increase the lifespan of your flue and ensure everyone in your house is safe from house fires and Carbon monoxide poisoning.

Contact Us

If you are looking for a team to come out and inspect and clean your chimney contact us. We work within the Essex and Suffolk area.

Chimney Sweeping this Christmas

Chimney sweeping at christmas

Sweep your chimney this winter


It’s that time of year again! When the days are getting shorter and the air is getting colder. You’ve stayed on top of your winter tasks, i.e. start Christmas shopping, bring down the extra blankets and bulk buy de-icer for the car. But aren’t you forgetting something? Many homeowners get caught up in the festive period that they forget a crucial and, in some cases, lifesaving activity. Have your chimney swept by a professional.

The winter months is when fireplaces get their most use. This is also a time in which emergency services see an increase in chimney and house fires. One of the biggest causes of chimney fires is having irregular cleaning and improper inspections. Irregular cleaning is often because the individuals have forgotten to get their chimney cleaned. Whilst the improper inspections are due to people going for cheaper alternatives or by doing it themselves. Both of which result in a build- up of twigs, rubbish and soot from over the months. This overall results is a fire waiting to happen.

Essex and Suffolk Sweeps

We are a well-established Chimney sweeping business based in the London and Essex’s area. We pride ourselves on not contracting out any work we do, all of which is carried out by a fully certified and insured member of our team. We’re able to provide a wide range of services, as well as giving you support and advice on maintenance.


For more information on how we can help you contact us.

Modern Standard Coffee – Flue Sweeping

Lovely day spent in a coffee roasting house today Sweeping their flue.  Makes a change to smell lovely coffee rather than soot.

Chimneys should be swept regularly to remove the build up of soot, creosote and other debris which are deposited from the fuel you are burning on your stove or in your fires. It is this build up which could potentially cause a chimney fire. How often your chimney should be swept is dependent on what fuel you are burning.

The majority of insurance companies require chimneys and flues to be swept as part of the insurance terms and conditions. Many insurance companies will also not pay for a claim where intervals between sweeps have been observed and documented by certification.  Be assured that once your chimney or flue has been swept you should be issued with a Chimney Safety Certificate which is recognised by all leading insurance companies.  As a Guild member sweep you will receive this certificate from Essex & Suffolk Sweeps on completion of works along with a smoke draw test which we perform on all chimneys at no additional charge.

Services Include:

Chimney & flue blockages cleared

Chimney and flues, sweep and vacuumed

Bird nest removal

Chimney Pots, Bird guards and cowls fitted

CCTV camera inspection

Certificate, recognised by all leading insurance companies, always issued

Damaged chimney pot/stack replacement

Flue smoke tests

Wood and multi-fuel stove cleaning & repairs

Solid fuel cookers repairs

Burner installation (Hetas Certified)

We do not contract any work out and all works undertaken will be carried out by certified and insured, Member of the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps.  By choosing Essex & Suffolk Sweeps to service your chimney, you can be sure that you will receive a professional, dependable, and friendly service.


Contact us


A Sweeps finds all sorts in a chimney
Chimney findings

A chimney can be home to some strange findings. From newspapers, to money to ducks. A Chimney sweeper with a few years under their belt will have seen it all. Here we’ve compiled some of the most unusual findings we’ve heard about (and some we’ve experienced ourselves).

  • A letter to Santa from 1912

A man from Dublin Ireland came across a letter to Santa from 1912 whilst he was cleaning out his fireplace. The note was believed to be from Hannah and Alfred Howard. Remarkably, the note to Santa has had very little burn damage despite the fireplace is used on a regular basis. The note included a list of desired toys and a couple of cute illustrations.

  • Newspapers from 1940’s

An experienced Chimney sweeper was cleaning out a lovely customers chimney when he came across some old newspapers. At first glance, he didn’t take much notice, until he noticed the dates. Alike to the letter to Santa, the newspaper over the years had stayed in relatively good condition.

  • Dead cats or shoes

Chimney Sweepers in Australia are never surprised if they come across either a dead cat or a shoe in the chimney they are sweeping. This is because traditionally Australia settlers were superstitious and would often hide one or the other in their Chimneys. This practice is said to have come from Britain from an Ancient Roman practice to ward off evil spirits.

Essex and Suffolk Sweeps

Chimneys should be swept regularly to remove the build-up of soot, creosote and any other unusual items that can be lurking up there.

Smokeless coals: At least once a year

Wood: Once a season when in use

Bitumous coal: Twice a year

Oil: Once a year

Gas: Once a year

BBC Radio

The risk of cleaning your chimney with a vacuum cleaner

If you burn wood you will have to clean the ash up periodically. However, many people do not realise the dangers and the unnecessary fire risk that is caused when cleaning your stove or chimney with a household vacuum cleaner. Please be aware, an ash vacuum is the only type of vacuum which can be used to safely get rid of the ash built up in your chimney or stove. There are many reasons as to why you shouldn’t use a regular vacuum to remove your ash, the main one being that normal household vacuums are not designed to any heat. If a regular vacuum is used the ash cleaned up could cause the vacuum to set alight as depicted in the video.

Chimney Sweeping should be carried out regularly to remove the build up of soot, creosote and other debris which are deposited from the fuel you are burning on your stove or in your fires. It is this build-up which could potentially cause a chimney fire. How often your chimney should be swept is dependent on what fuel you are burning.

We provide a wide range of services:

Chimney & flue blockages cleared

Chimney and flues, sweep and vacuumed

Bird nest removal

Chimney Pots, Bird guards and cowls fitted

CCTV camera inspection

Certificate, recognised by all leading insurance companies, always issued

Damaged chimney pot/stack replacement

Flue smoke tests

Wood and multi-fuel stove cleaning & repairs

Solid fuel cookers repairs

Burner installation (Hetas Certified)


For more information contact us: 07545976100 email:

To watch the full video click here