Everything you need to know about chimney sweep logs
Chimney and fireplace sweeping is important to keep creosote at a minimum. However, some people don’t want to spend the money to hire a CSIA certified chimney sweep. As an alternative, many stores sell chimney sweep logs that are designed to remove creosote from your chimney. If you’re considering using these logs instead of hiring a professional, first you need to understand what creosote is, why it’s important to have your chimney routinely cleaned and inspected and whether or not chimney sweep logs work.
What Is Creosote?
You might notice that burning wood in your fireplace leaves a residue. There are several byproducts when you burn wood, one of which is called creosote. Creosote is a tar-like material that’s found in the smoke that’s produced when you burn wood. As that smoke travels up your chimney, little bits of creosote are left behind on the chimney liner. At first, this creosote is easy to clean. Over time, it turns into a tar-like substance that’s a lot harder to remove from your chimney liner.
The big problem with creosote is that it’s highly flammable. This is why it’s so important to hire a certified chimney professional at All Pro Chimney for regular sweeps and inspections. While chimney sweep log manufacturers claim their products work, they simply don’t. The only way to keep creosote out of your chimney and prevent fires is to hire a professional chimney sweeping service.
What Causes Creosote Buildup?
Creosote buildup is a byproduct of burning wood, but an excessive buildup of creosote is a sign of another problem, such as:
Creosote buildup tends to be a bigger problem when you’re not completely burning the logs in your fireplace. If you want to keep creosote from building up as quickly, make sure you’re getting enough airflow to fully burn the logs in your fireplace. You can do this by opening more interior doors in your home and even cracking a window to allow a little more air to flow through your fireplace. Keep in mind
that no matter what you do to reduce creosote buildup, you’ll always need to have your fireplace inspected by a professional chimney services provider on a regular schedule to prevent chimney fires.
What Are Chimney Sweep Logs?
Chimney sweep logs are designed to loosen up creosote to make it easier to clean your chimney. These logs contain chemicals that help loosen the creosote buildup in your chimney. Some people who don’t want to spend the money to hire a chimney sweep professional choose to use chimney sweep logs. There are several brands that make these logs, but they all have the same basic idea. All you have to do is light a chimney sweep log in your fireplace, let it burn for 90 minutes or so and you’re good to go. The idea is that these chimney sweep logs contain chemicals that work to remove built-up creosote from your chimney liner and flue.
Chimney sweep logs contain chemicals and minerals that are supposed to remove the creosote from the inside of your chimney. As the smoke travels through your chimney, the idea is that the creosote will be exposed to enough of these compounds that it will start to break down. Then, all you have to do is simply scrape the dry, flaky creosote off the inside of your chimney, which should be a cakewalk. Sounds simple enough, right?
The problem with chimney sweep logs is that creosote builds up in thick layers. You can’t simply remove this built-up gunk by burning a log; you need to use special tools to physically remove creosote. Plus, chimneys have little nooks and crannies that only a professional knows how to access and clean.
Do Chimney Sweep Logs Work?
As great as chimney sweep logs sound in theory, what really matters is how well they work. As great as it would be to have a simple, affordable solution to cleaning chimneys, the truth is that chimney sweep professionals agree that these creosote sweeping logs don’t work. While the compounds in chimney sweep logs can be used to clean creosote buildup, it seems they’re not present in high enough amounts in the smoke to work.
Another problem with creosote sweeping logs is the fact that you’re still burning something in your fireplace. While there are cleaning compounds in these logs, you’re still adding extra smoke to your chimney in an attempt to clean it. At All Pro Chimney, we use a brush to get down in your chimney and remove all the built-up creosote without having to rely on chemicals.
Are Chimney Sweep Logs Safe?
One of the biggest concerns with chimney sweep logs is whether they’re safe. Inhaling the smoke that results from the combustion of any solid material is bad for you, but some things are much worse than others. If airflow is already a concern with your chimney, burning a creosote sweeping log could expose you and your family to whatever chemicals and minerals are in those logs. We always recommend you avoid using chimney sweep logs and hire a professional instead.
The bottom line is, we don’t recommend burning chimney sweep logs if you want to avoid harsh chemicals. And the fewer chemicals you can expose yourself to in life, the better.
The best way to keep your family safe from fire hazard and toxic fumes is to hire a professional chimney services company like ours.
How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney?
When you live in a home with a chimney, keeping that chimney clean is important. If you want to prevent fires and make sure air is able to flow through your chimney, you should have it cleaned at least once every year. According to the CSIA a yearly chimney cleaning helps remove creosote before it gets built up to a point where it’s a fire hazard, plus chimneys are easier to clean when they’re cleaned every year. You don’t have to worry about burning a creosote log or getting dirty; all you have to do is a call a chimney sweep specialist at All Pro Chimney and we’ll take care of the rest.
Why You Should Hire a Professional
Unfortunately, chimney sweep logs aren’t a miracle solution to preventing creosote buildup in your chimney. You also don’t want to go climbing up on your roof or sticking anything up your chimney to try to clean it because you could hurt yourself or damage your chimney liner. Plus, the average homeowner doesn’t know how to thoroughly clean a chimney even with the right tools.
If you want to make sure your chimney is clean and your home isn’t at risk of chimney fires, you need to hire a trained chimney cleaning expert to clean your chimney once a year. Fortunately, All Pro Chimney has you covered. From chimney inspections to chimney sweeping and even repairs, we offer some of the best chimney services in Washington DC. If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned in a while, call All Pro Chimney at (240) 486-6731.