Chimney Sweeping has never been an easy job, but throughout the years the job has developed into a safer job for the customer as well as the sweeper. Chimney sweeping started in the early 16th century in England, where the love of a fireplace grew into a household necessity. In the 17th century almost everyone had a fireplace in their home, but during that same time coal become a popular substitute for wood. As a result, a chimney cleaning became a necessity due to the sticky soot that coal deposits on the flue lining and if not cared for would release a harmful fume into the room. Queen Elizabeth of London mandated that all chimneys be cleaned on a regulate bases shortly after coal became popular, increasing the need for chimney sweeps tremendously.
Today the process for a chimney cleaning is to run a wire brush up and down the flue lining until the creosote on the sides is removed. In the 17th century the procedure was much different considering that the brushes we use today were not invented until the late 18th century by Joseph Glass. The process then was much more fatal, small children between the ages of 5 and 11 would climb into the tight, dark flue and scrape the creosote from the sides of the flue. As you could imagine a majority of the children fell ill due to the fumes and tight spaces they were forced into. Thankfully the English Parliament passed the “Act for the Regulation of Chimney Sweepers” in 1864, putting an end to child chimney sweeps in that country, which later lead to Joseph’s idea for the chimney brush. Today we have cameras that can be lowered into the flue to get a visual of the lining, and the amount of creosote built up without getting in the flue ourselves. Rather than forcing small children to squeeze into tiny maze-like flues, today’s chimney sweeps are educated in the building codes and are trained properly to ensure the sweeping process is safe for us as well as you and your home.
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