Archive for February, 2014

Barrowfull of Soot

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

A pre stove installation chimney clean yielded this barrowfull of soot. Admittedly this 100 year old Dublin cottage fireope had been closed up for many years.

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A rock from outer space, this specimen was located today in a chimney in Co. Meath. About 5 years ago the house owner had this Olymberel stove installed. A rear flue pipe of approx 35cm was connected to a 90 degree elbow and it connected with a reducer. Back then when he lit his first fire (and last fire) in his newly installed stove, his room filled with smoke.
Any wonder when you see what we took out of the flue. Not alone was this totally crystallized ball of cresote, almost the size of a football, lodged half way up , but above it was approx 40 litres of birds nesting debris, consisting of very little sticks, but bucketfulls of earth, horse hair, horse manure, straw , etc etc which had been accumulating for 20 years or more.

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More images tomorrow when job complete.

9 Year Cleaning Cycle.

Posted: February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

They say God works in mysterious ways. This chimney clean came about as a result of me calling to the wrong house. When the lady saw my vehicle she asked me if I could clean her chimney. It had not been cleaned since she moved in 9 years ago. This is the largest deposit I ever removed from an open fire flue. Thankfully and luckily this family did not experience a chimney fire or poisoning.

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Got a call this morning from a  distraught home owner who experienced a chimney fire in his open fire last night. When he told me about it on the phone , I said that a normal conventional brush clean was out of the question as his tarred up liners needed to be power swept to see if there were any breaches in his liners. When I arrived at the house and before I examined the flue ( which was extremely hot)  I  asked him what fuels he had been burning. He told me he burned a lot of turf. During this conversation he told me that about two years after he bought the house he discovered that he had cracked liners, (after investigations as to why smoke was coming into their  upstairs bedroom through the floor boards) . The developer duly sorted the problem , as he thought fit, by fitting a 5″ flexi liner into his 8″ clay liner servicing an open fire. Totally contravening building regulations. That’s 6 years ago and luckily for this man , his wife and two gorgeous little girls, they have not suffered the I’ll effects of this inappropriate action. Until now of course , as obviously the 5″ liner became totally tarred up and it’s limited capacity to function properly finally led to the chimney fire.
This image shows about 75% of the highly flammable by product taken from the flexi liner. I issued a “hazard notification” and advised my client not to light any fire until this dangerous situation is rectified.

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The need to comply with combustible distances is often very disappointing and expensive for home owners to discard their wooden mantle and have it replaced with a stone based surround. However this is exactly what happened in Rathfarnham last Friday. However we were able to install this Stanley Cara to an existing tiled cast iron insert and replace the wooden surround with an engineered marble. And it really looks superb.

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