Chimney Engineering, Chimney Relining, Chimney Rebuilds, Chimney Builders
There are no others with our experience and knowledge of chimneys specific to Essex and London, from medieval inglenooks chimneys to tall Victorian coal flues. Understanding the fabric of local properties is fundamental to successfully adding wood burners into every type of home.
Our chimney services include:
- New build design through to completion and commissioning, including site visits
- Design and chimney construction
- Rebuilds and renovation
- Relining existing chimneys
- Inglenook chimney restoration
- Advice and certification
- Bird guards and terminals
- Stainless steel insulated chimney systems
- In house scaffolding & powered access
Brief Chimney History
Around 300 years ago with the advent of the mass produced cast iron fireplace, coal became the most popular form of heating. Chimneys were built with smaller flues for smaller fireplaces to serve individual rooms. This practice continued until the 1960's. Since then chimneys have been designed and used alongside many types of appliances including boilers and decorative fires.
Environmental issues and developments in stove design and efficiencies have recently pushed wood forward as a real carbon-neutral alternative to coal. We must remember that our traditional chimneys were not necessarily designed for wood burning stoves and are often of an age whereby they are not suitable for guaranteed safe use with any type of fuel. Chimneys built after 1965 should have adequate liners, depending on the preferred fuel of the property. In reality 9 out of 10 new build chimneys we test and inspect with CCTV do not meet the ‘basic minimum requirements’.
Many builders over the past 40 years have not fully understood the importance of building sound chimneys to suit all appliances; it cannot be assumed that any chimney is suitable for wood burning.
Building regulations state that the correct flue lining must be used for the intended appliance and it must be fitted and commissioned by a competent HETAS engineer or building control approval must be obtained. All installations must be certified and registered with your local council.
Domestic coal smoke from open fires was a major cause of urban smog. The London smog of 1952 lasted for several days and caused 4000 deaths, prompting the Clean Air Acts 1956 and 1968 that prohibited the emission of smoke from domestic chimneys. Exempt from the smoke control regulations are some modern, high efficiency, wood burning stoves. They are designed to give low smoke particle emissions and have undergone tests by DEFRA.
The clean burning effectiveness of the 21st Century stove in urban areas can only be achieved with correct installation, using high grades of dry fuel, and the attention to detail of the end user. To release its full potential, using a stove in a city home, demands an understanding of wood as a carbon-neutral bio-fuel and its effects on the local environment.
We have long been considered as the only company capable of tackling all of the challenging architecture of the city, offering the complete package for every situation. In many parts of London there are issues with access to chimneys for renovation works. Jason Scarlett started his career as an extreme scaffolder, involved in work from inner London to oil refineries and the Borneo Rainforest. As a result we can work safely at any height and awkwardness whilst enjoying the view!