Chimney Sweeping is evolving

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Hello all and welcome.

I wrote this post after I received many messages following  my blog To power Sweep or not to power sweep, where many users of power sweeping equipment reminded me of the evolution of whip heads, button lock rods,dust sheets and Mole brushes.

In this blog you will learn about new products and techniques that are making both chimney sweeping and rotary power sweeping safer and better.

Dust sheets

The first things I will start with are the humble dust sheet. When I started we used either cotton twill decorators sheets or good old bed sheets. Nowadays the material used maybe completely waterproof with a rubberised backing, easy to clean and impossible to spill a cup of tea through. I recently reviewed some sheets from SIS that were excellent.

If you compare the above cotton twill sheets with those below there is a huge difference.

A typical London chimney sweep


Soot cloths

There has been an evolution over the years in soot sheets, these are the sheets used to seal  the fireplace apperture with the elephant nose on the front to sweep through. Many years ago we would make our own, well our wives would. Nowadays there are many manufacturers making high quality products such as the Sweepmate ones below. These are not the only sheets on the market but are high quality and are what we use at clean sweep chimney services.

The Sweepmate Soot cloth


Button-lock rods

The next evolution in chimney sweeping that we like very much is the button lock rods. Prior to these we used the good old screw thread which is why we all have tennis elbow or tendinitis. There are single and twin button versions of button lock rods available, some require a special glove to depress the button.

After much testing we at clean sweep utilise the twin button version from Snap-lok these have little chance of coming undone if a button is depressed while within the flue, they are also made from stainless steel and nylon and have a tapered feral which is safe to use in liners they offer  very good all round value.

Rods for chimney sweeping

The Mole

Last but not least in this blog Mole brushes. I received lots of feedback from my last blog To powersweep or not to power sweep. As a reminder of that blog I explained that using a whip in some chimneys can be very damaging and excessively wear the flue lining, well there is a new kid on the block which can attach to a rotary system but is very much less aggressive.This brush promises  the benefits of traditional Sweeping with the ease of a rotary system. It’s called The Mole. So what the heck is a Mole.  It’s the name given to a specialist brush from RPS at clean sweep we have found these mole brushes very useful as London Chimney Sweeps. The houses are very old and the chimney lining is brittle and as such  special care and attention are required as to not cause unnecessary damage to the flue linings.

below a Mole brush from RPS

A rotary Mole brush used for chimney sweep essex

I hope you have found our blog useful. If you could please like our blog by ticking the top left corner you be sure to get upcoming posts from us.

special thanks to, Stove  industry supplies, Sweepmate and Rotary power sweeping who supplied the images.

6 Responses to “An Evolution in Chimney sweeping find out what’s changing?”

  1. Craig forster

    I would add that the use of clear poly when sealing the appliance went hand in hand with the design and testing of the latest rotary equipment,having the benifit of being able to see in real time the type and volume of soot adds a extra level of safety when dealing with delicate flues,Many sweeps will never change to poly which of course is their choice,rotary can of course be used with traditional sealing methods,i would also add quality rotary rods can also be used to traditionally clean a flue when coupled to the correct brush.

  2. Matt Gallagher

    Very good blog but forgot to mention a very important piece of kit for sweeps the first thing which I use on each job the inspection mirror

    Fantastic blog keep it up
    Matt sweep safe

    • admin

      He mat.
      The blog was more about new kit. I agree the mirror is important indeed but have been using is since we started out.
      Thanks for your input.

  3. Graeme Swatman

    Although not new, the inspection camera has seen cheap and affordable cameras come on the market. Making this a much more popular choice for the chimney sweep. It is an essential piece of kit for checking flues for damage or blockages. I personally have swept chimneys that have had nesting material left behind from previous sweeps.

    • admin

      A further blog will be on survey an look and go see cameras Graham.
      Thanks for your input.


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