Our Company Blog

The Luck of the Chimney Sweep

At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we are asked why a chimney sweep is considered to be lucky. Many Americans have not heard the legends of the luck of the chimney sweep as they all originated in Europe. In fact, because of these legends, it is considered to be very lucky for the bride and groom in England to see a chimney sweep on their wedding day. If that chimney sweep kisses the bride or shakes the groom’s hand, even more luck is brought to the new marriage. This belief is so popular that English chimney sweeps even rent out their services to appear at weddings to bring luck to the bride and groom’s new life together. Since so many of our customers are curious about these legends, we would like to share the three main stories about why a chimney sweep is considered to be good luck in love and happiness.

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The Chimney Sweep who Saved the Life of King William of Britain

The legend of the luck of the chimney sweep began in 1066 in Great Britain. A chimney sweep spotted a runaway carriage heading right for King William of Britain, who was walking quietly down the road. With amazing courage, the chimney sweep rushed to push the wayward carriage out of King William’s path, which saved his life. As a sign of his eternal gratitude towards this lifesaving, brave chimney sweep, King William made a declaration to his people that all chimney sweeps as bringers of good luck. To further show how grateful he was, the king invited the chimney sweep to his daughter’s wedding to bring luck to the bride and groom. Ever since, Europeans believed that chimney sweeps are lucky charms at weddings, which has led to chimney sweep being frequent wedding guests for centuries.

The Chimney Sweep who Saved King George II of England

Another legend featuring a courageous chimney sweep that dates back to the 1700’s, King George II was riding his horse in a procession down a street in London when suddenly, an angry dog appeared before the horse, growled and barked fiercely, and scared the horse. Crazed by fear, the horse bucked and jumped uncontrollably and caused King George II to let go of the reins. Only one man was brave enough to come out to help the king by grabbing the horse and calming the animal down. This man was a local chimney sweep, and, by calming down the horse, he saved the king’s life. To show how grateful he was to this chimney sweep, King George II announced that from this day forward all chimney sweeps should be seen as signs of future success and deserved to be treated with the greatest respect. From then on, English chimney sweeps have been considered as bringers of luck, success, and good fortune.

The Chimney Sweep who Fell from the Roof and Fell in Love

An undated legend that originated in Europe tells the tale of a chimney sweep who was working on a roof and fell. Fortunately, according to Good Luck Symbols, his life was spared because his foot got caught in the gutter; however, he was not completely safe as he was hanging upside down. Fortunately for this chimney sweep, a young woman who lived in the house heard this cries for help and looked out of her window to see him dangling in front of it. Immediately becoming determined to save the life of this chimney sweep, she pulled him inside through the window and led him into safety. This young woman was engaged to be married, but once the chimney sweep composed himself inside, the two instantly fell in love at first sight. She ended her engagement and married the chimney sweep and lived happily ever after. This legend of a chimney sweep’s luck in love spread throughout the continent and the globe and continues to this day.

Interested in these legends of the luck of chimney sweeps? Contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps to hear our lucky chimney sweeps talk about their experiences with these stories.

Why Annual Chimney Sweepings are so Important

The National Fire Protection Association’s standard for chimneys and fireplaces calls for homeowners to have their system inspected and swept each year in order to keep the system as safe as possible. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we can make maintenance a breeze, and keep your system in top working order.

The National Fire Protection Association’s standard for chimneys and fireplaces calls for homeowners to have their system inspected and swept each year in order to keep the system as safe as possible. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we can make maintenance a breeze, and keep your system in top working order.

When you have a fireplace in your home, the most essential maintenance step you can do is hire a professional chimney sweeping company, such as Weststar Chimney Sweeps, to perform an annual cleaning of your chimney. This task ranks high in importance, as annual chimney sweepings prolong the life of your chimney as well as ensure the safety of your fireplace and chimney. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has published The Homeowner’s Guide to Chimneys, Fireplaces, and Woodstoves to provide helpful information for understanding how these heating systems work and how to properly maintain them. We would like to share some facts from this guidebook with you to help you understand why annual chimney sweepings are so important.

Removal of Chimney Deposits

According to the CSIA, there are three types of deposits that build up on chimney walls:

  • Soot — Primarily composed of carbon particles and possibly ash remnants, soot can be highly flammable, depending on the concentration of soot and ash. Since ash is not combustible, a higher ash content in soot reduces its flammability.
  • Creosote — Naturally formed during the condensation process, creosote is a highly flammable residue of the by-products of incomplete combustion. Varying in its appearance, creosote can be black or brown, hard and shiny, sticky and tar-like, or crusty and flaky. No matter what it looks like, creosote deposits are hazardous as they are one of the main causes of chimney fires.
  • Glaze — The most difficult deposit to remove, this shiny, tarry substance creates a large amount of fuel to burn and poses a serious danger of a destructive chimney fire.

Removing these deposits is the major reason for annual chimney sweepings. Preventing chimney fires, eliminating chimney odors, ensuring proper venting to the outdoors, removing blockages that could cause toxic gases like carbon monoxide to enter the home, and stopping deterioration to chimney walls from the acids in these deposits are all accomplished during a professional chimney cleaning by removing buildups of soot, creosote, and glaze.

Discovering Essential Repairs

Another important reason to have your chimney swept once a year: CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, including our staff at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, will look at the exterior of your chimney for loose bricks and mortar and other signs of water penetration damage, examine the condition of your flue liner to check for cracks and deterioration, and monitor the venting system of your chimney to ensure the toxic by-products of combustion are exiting through the chimney. When we find any needed repair work, we can fix it for you. We specialize in crown repair, resurfacing, repairing, or replacing damaged flue liners, water leak repair and prevention, and customized repair or replacement of flashing where your chimney meets the roof.

While an annual chimney cleaning generally is sufficient to keep your fireplace and chimney safely maintained, more frequent chimney sweepings should be scheduled under certain conditions. The number of cleanings needed depends on the amount of time your fireplace is used, the installation of your fireplace, the type of fuel used for your fires, and your burning habits. Our chimney sweeps can tell you if your chimney needs to be cleaned more often than once a year.

If you have not scheduled your annual chimney sweeping yet, contact Weststar Chimney Sweeps today to schedule an appointment. Keeping your family safe from the dangers posed by a dirty chimney is one of the most important tasks on your home maintenance checklist.