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File: sweeping

File: sweeping

Every beginning of autumn, we witness the same ride, whether we live in large cities or in more remote rural areas: the chimney sweep that goes from house to house in order to maintain and clean the evacuation ducts chimneys. But what are the advantages of regular sweeping? What does the law provide for in this area? On what criteria do we choose the professional who will intervene? Is there an alternative to sweeping?

Regular maintenance for optimal use of your chimney

It is essential to have your chimney swept regularly. Indeed, the sweeping operation makes it possible to considerably reduce the risks of poisoning linked to carbon monoxide. This very toxic, polluting and deadly gas has no odor. But each year in France, carbon monoxide is the cause of more than 6,000 poisonings and nearly 300 deaths. In most cases, these poisonings and deaths are the result of faulty maintenance of a chimney or a heating duct. It is therefore essential to be well informed about the condition of your chimney and to ensure its regular maintenance. Especially since a well-swept chimney is synonymous with energy savings! Indeed some foreign bodies such as soot, birds' nests or small branches obstruct the chimney flue and can cause an overconsumption of fuel which can turn out to be relatively significant over a long period. Regular sweeping also considerably reduces the risk of flame within the duct and therefore prevents fires. In principle, one to two sweeping operations are recommended each year, depending on the frequency of use of the chimney or stove.

Chimney sweeping, a legal obligation

Faced with the dangers inherent in the use of a fireplace or a wood or coal stove, the legislator has provided for imposed regulatory obligations through article 2213-26 of the General Code of Local Authorities. At the end of this article, the chimney owners undertake to carry out regular sweeping and to take all basic safety precautions concerning this equipment. If most insurance companies do not impose any sweeping obligation in the general conditions of subscription, it is nevertheless strongly advised to carry it out in order to be in line with the Standard Departmental Health Regulations. Article 31 of this regulation imposes an annual sweeping in order to be delivered by the professional who intervenes on site a certificate attesting to the "emptiness of the conduit over its entire length." A certificate which must be sent to the company of insurance and that will prove that your equipment meets all safety standards.

Qualibat certification as a guarantee of professionalism

In the cities, as in the countryside, swindlers posing as chimney sweeps are rampant. If their prices are equivalent to those charged by real professionals, the quality of the work performed leaves much to be desired and does not guarantee any cover in the event of an accident. This is the reason why it is essential to require Qualibat certification from your chimney sweep. This standard attests to the reliability and competence of the chimney sweep. And to be sure of choosing the ideal craftsman, it is better to start early. The ideal is therefore to go about it in the spring. This time of year is particularly suitable for intervention since this period in principle marks the end of the use of the fireplace. In addition, the deposits caused by the smoke are still dry, which is not necessarily the case in the fall, and make the professional's intervention easier.

Reliable alternatives at moderate prices

Even if there has been a significant drop in chimney sweepers' prices in recent years, around 25% there are alternatives to their intervention. Some heating engineers are, for example, contracted and their intervention is accepted by insurance companies. Whether chimney sweeper or heating engineer, the intervention of a professional is in principle invoiced between 50 and 75 €. It is also possible to have your chimney swept yourself, but this still involves validating your work by a licensed professional in order to obtain the precious certificate. But beware of the chimney sweeps! Sold commercially, these stripping methods allow real savings but they in no way replace conventional sweeping.