Please click here to access the NACS Chimney Safety Advice Page. It contains a wealth of information to ensure you stay safe when using your appliance, and answers a whole host of questions in relation as to the importance of sweeping and what to expect.

captain sweep

Chimney Fires

Terrifying, dangerous but surprisingly frequent & damage almost always caused from cracked chimney pots (best case scenario) to cracked chimney stacks & brickwork, through to full on house-fires. Usually, chimney fires affect open fires but also wood/multi-fuel stoved fitted to an unlined flue.  Annually, there are over 8,000 chimney fires in the UK and I’m sorry to say that every year I complete a number of damage assessments after chimney fires despite some having been ‘swept’ by sweeps with a less diligent or competent disposition.

Here’s an excellent video from the USA of a fire in an unlined chimney:


A brilliant resource with much detail, and all you’ll need to know is on the Burn Right website www.burnright.co.uk


However, a short summary:

Wood Burning Stove – you can burn well-seasoned wood and certain processed wood (e.g Lekto sawdust logs) so long as they’re labelled as suitable for use on a stove.

Multi-Fuel Stove – you can burn well seasoned wood and processed varieties, as well as processed ‘Smokeless Fuel’.

Open Fire / JetMaster / Inglenook etc – you can burn smokeless coal and seasoned wood.

Do not use green (unseasoned) wood – incomplete combustion due to high levels of moisture creates significant amounts of smoke and resin to accumulate in your chimney/flue which is hard to remove even for an experienced sweep using the correct equipment.

Other than the environmental impact, this sticky resin can damage your chimney and stove and is very hard to fully remove and could require specialist, and expensive Cre-Away treatment.

Of course, please do not burn anything which is obvious will harm the environment – plastics etc.

As an absolute minimum – once a year. Home Insurance policies often require annual sweeping of all fires & stoves.

Soot & ash becomes acidic and is also highly flammable, damaging chimney brickwork and pointing, eroding metal flues prematurely leading to costly repairs.

Many stove manufacturers now recommend to sweep twice a year to prolong the integrity of the unit and metal flues – e.g at the start of the winter heating season (before first use) and at the end of the winter heating season (after last use)

However, this depends on the frequency of use (heavy use may require sweeping every 3 – 4 months) and the fuel you use:

  • Smokeless coal – at least once a year
  • Regular coal – twice a year
  • Dry wood – twice a year
  • Mixed wood – twice a year
  • Oil / Gas – once a year
  • Aga – once a year

It is incredibly important to maintain the proper function of your chimney / appliance through regular cleaning and maintenance:

  • Around 9,000 chimney fires are reported each year, and some 3,000 housefires are directly caused by fireplaces each year.
  • Even partially clogged chimneys can allow dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide (CO) to escape into the room, with potentially lethal consequences.
  • Soot and ash build up can quickly become acidic causing flue lining to become brittle and perish prematurely, and inner chimney brickwork and pointing to collapse. This can result in a very expensive repair bills often not covered by insurance if chimney hasn’t been regularly swept!
  • A cleaner chimney allows for your fire to burn hotter, brighter and cleaner thus reducing potential environmental impact.

Yes, which is why I provide a NACS approved, insurance compliant certificate after completion of any service to show you’ve had your chimney professionally maintained at the required intervals.

Without evidence of regular maintenance, should there be an accident caused by an infrequently swept chimney, an insurance claim will likely not be accepted!

Did you know??

  1. ONLY sweeps who have completed a HETAS Approved Chimney Sweep Training Course can provide certificates accepted by ALL home insurance companies?
  2. Some sweep training courses last no more than 1 day! Incredible, but true. Compare and contrast with courses offered by the NACS for example, and you’ll be sure to choose the best sweep. If in doubt, do some research!

The longest running chimney sweeping organisation is the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) www.nacs.org.uk established in 1982 which has taken the lead in professionalising the sweeping industry.

Unfortunately, there are still sweeps without any official training or accreditation who can operate with sub-standard equipment, without insurance, and sweep chimneys in the time it takes to make a cup of tea! Using such sweeps will ensure as a best case scenario that your chimney will simply not be swept effectively, and worse case that damage can easily be caused. Time & time again, professional, trained and accredited sweeps attend customers who have had real difficulties with such sweeps, with no recourse to any insurance claim!

If in doubt, ask to see accreditation, insurance, and training proofs. Any reputable sweep should even let you watch the process!

Things to Know & Consider:

  • Professional Chimney Sweeps Trained, Approved & Accredited by NACS issue insurance compliant certificates accepted by ALL insurance companies.
  • Sweeps not properly trained & affiliated with a professional body often issue ‘their own’ certificates which are often not accepted by insurance companies! Furthermore, NACS has a strict ‘Code of Conduct’ which sweeps must adhere to.
  • Always be willing to check the accreditation & training record of your sweep, to ensure you’re confident they are a competent and professional individual. Is it really worth choosing the cheapest sweep?
  • The standard NACS course lasts 5 days and includes 16 observed training sweeps, followed by 25 verified ‘real world’ sweeps, and a further 3-5 sweeps as part of a 1 day assessment with an experienced assessor. A total of 44 sweeps before you can be a NACS Accredited Chimney Sweep.  The standard NACS course is the UK’s most comprehensive, and respected initial Chimney Sweep training course available.

Manual Chimney Sweeping

A la Mary Poppins, traditional (manual) chimney sweeping method utilise simple brush & rod systems. The traditional sweeping method is perhaps better suited to older properties which have more delicate internal brickwork structures and older flue lining (parget) which should be preserved as much a possible. A considerable drawback to the traditional method is that a flue with creosote (tar) build up is very unlikely to be properly cleaned leaving a fire and damage risk. Furthermore, less diligent sweeps often simply run the brush up and down just the once which is completely insufficient to provide a professional and proper clean.

Please see the below excellent video:

Power Sweeping

Technology has moved on considerably in the form of ‘Rotary Power Sweeping’ along with the complexity of wood & multi-fuel burning stoves and dramatic improvements in efficiency and the consequently far better environmental impacts. Rotary Power Sweeping is a more modern invention and is especially good at enabling proper deep cleaning of flexible flue liners, creosote removal, and nest removal. My excellent power-sweeping equipment is provided by Rod Station.

Please see the below excellent videos:

I only use specialist, high-tech, modern equipment to ensure a superior service. Depending on your property, the age and condition of the chimney, usage, and appliance type I may choose to use manual or powered equipment. It can be difficult to give an exact time however:

Regular services – around 45 mins

Specialist services – around 1.5 hrs


Card payment preferred.

Immediate booking and secure payment (via Stripe) is enabled when booking on the website.

However, you can choose to pay cash/card on completion, on the booking form too.

As of 2022, the typical standard chimney sweep in the UK is about £80. There are regional variations:

North West – £70 to £85

North East – £70 to £80

Central & South Midlands – £65 – £85

South West – £70 to £115

South East & London – £100 to £130

A great resource with more information & detail can be found here:


Captain Sweep considers itself to be one of the most professional sweeping service in the Bath, Bristol & N.E Somerset areas and the prices reflect this.

  • The equipment is specialised, modern, high-tech and efficient.
  • I provide an extended sweeping service as standard – I do not charge any extra for: taller buildings, the servicing and minor repairs of your wood/multi-fuel stove,  smoke evacuation checks, replacement of fire cement and rope, cleaning the glass etc.
  • I’m highly-trained, accredited and complete regular professional development & training to ensure you receive the best possible service.
  • I provide genuine Insurance Compliant Certificates as standard which are accepted by ALL insurance companies – please make sure your sweep is properly trained and a member of an accredited organisation!
  • We pay to dispose of waste properly at approved centres.
  • We have substantial Personal and Professional Liability Cover up to £1M

I’m trained by, and an approved member of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) www.nacs.org.uk Registration Number 23/021. Founded in 1982 NACS is the UK’s largest and most respected chimney sweeping body.

I feature on Check a Trade as a ‘preferred service’ for Chimney Sweeping services in Bath & N.E Somerset http://www.checkatrade.com

Regular ‘Continued Professional Development’ (CPD) courses are completed to ensure that we are always expertly trained to the latest standards and industry requirements.

Not really. Although please look to remove ornaments from the hearth. Also, it’s helpful for us to have 4-6 ft walkway space to access the fireplace, and please also remove any ash from the fireplace/stove.

We always cover the area in front of the fireplace to ensure no mess or damage, and can use shoe covers as we have to wear safety shoes.

Please also make sure YOUR FIRE IS NOT LIT/IN USE. This has happened before!

A very common, and understandable question. The simple answer is, no there will be no mess.

After carefully masking the front of the fireplace/stove to we use state-of-the-art, specialist equipment to sweep the chimney and a high-powered (and very expensive!) HEPA vacuum to control the dust. We also completely cover a significant area in front of the hearth/fireplace to catch any stray particles.

We can wear shoe covers when in your property, too.

For the GDPR, Cancellation Policy and Complaints Procedure, please click here to view the  T’s & C’s which provides full details of how to gain a copies of each. You can also email a request to info@captainsweep.co.uk or call Paul on 07769032121, or complete the form on ‘Contact the Captain‘.

Right to Cancel. You have the right to cancel a booking within 14 days without giving any reason. To exercise this right you can telephone, inform us in writing by email or letter or can use the form below (copy, paste & email to info@captainsweep.co.uk)

Cancellation Form

To: Captain Sweep Ltd, 4 Queen Street, Bath BA1 1HE

I wish to cancel my contract for chimney sweeping services on [insert date & time], ordered on [insert date].

Customer Name:




Joanne Foley
Joanne Foley
Professional friendly service from Paul. Very knowledgeable. Helpful advice. Good contact throughout. Would definitely use again and recommend. Thank you 🙂
Sally Vivian
Sally Vivian
Paul was punctual, efficient and the whole process was clean. We also received a certificate for our home insurance, thanks Paul
David Hughes
David Hughes
Very professional and friendly service. Very highly recommend.
Tony Couchman
Tony Couchman
Paul was quick to respond, arrived when promised and did an excellent job for a reasonable price. He was also very informative and nice to deal with.
Tom Cella
Tom Cella
Great service. Quick, thorough, friendly and professional
Innes Donaldson
Innes Donaldson
Excellent service from beginning to end and best of all, such a lovely guy too. Very tidy and thorough and incredibly trustworthy; if you are looking for a chimney sweep in Bath, look no further!
Rich Ryan
Rich Ryan
I really enjoyed my visit from Paul and had nothing to fault at all. It was terrific and he was good enough to answer all my geeky questions! The booking was easy, clear, and straightforward. The pricing was clear and well-structured too, with no extras or hidden things. I felt I had maximum value for money. Paul messaged me a couple of days out and on the morning of the visit, just to check timings. He was neat and tidy, respectful of being in someone else’s home, and he explained what he was going to do, how long it would take and everything he expected to find from the visit. He sized up my woodburner and was spot on, showing clear experience in his work. I had a few questions about my woodburner and he answered them all, even going as far as to cement one of the insulation bricks for me that had a crack in it. Paul was efficient and tidy, made sure the hearth was spotless on fishing and he wrote out my certificate and also tested my Carbon Monoxide alarm and the smoke integrity of the woodburner’s door seal. I am definitely booking again for a year’s time. Spot on and I would have no hesitation in recommending Captain Sweep!
Edward Whittle
Edward Whittle
Great and honest work. Trust worthy and reliable would highly recommend
Karen Rye
Karen Rye
Super helpful and great service at very short notice! Highly recommended.
Lin Haskins
Lin Haskins
Great sweep, great advice, great job. Thanks Paul, see you next year.