We all love convenience, so it’s tempting when you see a log at the grocery store, hardware store, or big box store that promises to “sweep” your chimney. You could buy the log, take it home, burn it in your fireplace, and check one thing off your to-do list. It seems easier than finding time to schedule a chimney sweep. But chimney sweeping logs are no substitute for your regular, annual chimney cleaning and inspection by a certified chimney sweep.
How do creosote sweeping logs work?
Chimney sweeping logs, or creosote sweeping logs, are placed in your fireplace and burned, either on their own or as part of a regular wood fire. They let off a chemical that reacts with the dangerous creosote deposits on your chimney, causing that creosote to flake off and fall down into your firebox, where it can be cleaned away, or burned up in the fire. Generally, creosote sweeping logs promise to reduce creosote buildup in your fireplace over a 15-day period.
Why aren’t creosote sweeping logs an adequate replacement for chimney sweeping?
Some chimney sweeping logs carry seals of approval from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), but the CSIA maintains that the only way to keep your family and home safe from the dangers of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide is an annual cleaning and inspection by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. At best, chimney sweeping logs promise to remove up to 60 percent of creosote deposits in your chimney. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that coats your chimney each time you burn a fire, and any significant amount of creosote buildup in your chimney poses a fire hazard to your home. Additionally, creosote sweeping logs encourage creosote to flake off of your chimney’s walls and fall back into your chimney. However, many chimneys are not straight shots to the firebox, which means creosote flakes can accumulate on horizontal services. Creosote is highly flammable, and as flakes fall into your firebox, they can cause flare ups in your burning fire.
Most importantly, creosote sweeping logs can clear away some buildup, but they cannot provide the important inspection component of your annual chimney sweeping. When you have your chimney serviced each year, your certified chimney sweep looks for problems with your chimney, such as damage from an undetected chimney fire, animal nests, or cracks that have formed in the masonry. All of those things can put your home at risk for a chimney fire, or lead to a weakening in your chimney’s structure.
How can I reduce creosote in my chimney?
You can reduce creosote buildup in your chimney by burning firewood that has been properly seasoned and dried, as wet or unseasoned wood does not burn efficiently. It lets of more smoke, which causes creosote to build up faster in your fireplace.
The best way to remove creosote from your chimney is with your annual chimney cleaning and inspection. Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney will make your sweeping as convenient as possible. The entire process, which involves specialty brushes and a high-powered vacuum only takes about an hour and a half and will leave you assured that your chimney is creosote free.