An important part of your fireplace maintenance should including chimney cleaning. You can find a number of chimney cleaning kits. Creosote chimney sweeping logs are another option which you might have seen in big box stores and other retail establishments. But are these effective for cleaning your chimney and should they replace a professional chimney sweep service?
When you use your fireplace and burn wood, you’re gradually building up creosote and tar over time in your chimney. This creosote formation is flammable and can cause a chimney fire. The fire service recommends you have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional service once a year to avoid chimney fires. But, now there are chimney sweeping logs available that is causing people to wonder if they even need yearly professional cleaning done anymore.
What Creosote Chimney Sweeping Logs Are
These sweeping logs are designed to get rid of the creosote sticky deposits that form on your chimney walls, which as mentioned, can cause chimney fires. Special chemicals are infused on the logs that release when you burn the log in your fireplace. The chemicals then react with the creosote deposits breaking them down into smaller fragments, which eventually reduce to ash and crumble down into your fireplace.
Pros of Chimney Sweeping Logs
Let’s explore some of the pros of these logs:
Ease of Use
Creosote chimney sweeping logs are very simple to use, which is why they are so popular. You simply unwrap the log and put it in your lit fireplace.
They are also reasonably priced and have a long shelf life when you store them for later use.
Now we’ll go over some of the cons:
You can only use the sweeping logs in a wood burning fireplace. You can’t use them for natural gas or propane fireplaces.
Can’t Get the Big Stuff
They typically don’t rid of bigger objects in your chimney like a bird nest, for example. There is also no guarantee they will remove all creosote deposits completely.
Can’t Replace the Real Thing
If you try to replace yearly manual professional cleaning with these sweeping logs, you’re not getting a thorough job. They do help, but shouldn’t be used exclusively to clean your chimney. In fact, The Chimney Safety Institute of America advises that there is absolutely no substitute adequate enough to replace the yearly mechanical chimney inspection and cleaning. They just don’t give you as much protection as manual sweeps.
Overall, creosote sweeping logs are not a bad idea to use to make it easier for the professionals to get their chimney sweeping job done better, but they are definitely not meant to replace them. In addition to your annual chimney sweeps, you also want to be sure you have proper homeowners insurance in case you ever do have a chimney fire that causes damage to your home.