Are Chimney Cleaning Logs a Good Way to Clean Your Chimney?
Have you heard of the “Creosote Sweeping Log”? If you’re a homeowner with a wood fireplace, you may have. It’s a log product that’s marketed as “the best way to keep your fireplace or woodstove in good condition.” This is one of those situations where, technically, it’s a good idea, but in practice it may not be all it’s fired up to be, no pun intended.
What is a chimney cleaning log?
The mechanism behind these logs is straightforward: you burn one in your fireplace, and various additives in the log get up into the chimney and attach to whatever creosote is there and begin to break it apart and/or render it less likely to create a chimney fire.
The minerals in the cleaning log are designed to dry out the creosote, which is a smoke by-product and highly flammable.
The problem with these logs
Some of you may be old enough to remember when commercial vitamins became all the rage. “Supplements,” they were called. Everybody was taking them, because they believed these pills would improve and safeguard their health. Many people went overboard and neglected proper nutrition with live food, thinking that as long as they took the supplements, they’d be the next Jack LaLanne (a phenomenally healthy fitness guru many “older” folks will remember).
Well, the vitamin crowd didn’t get much healthier, and many became less healthy. This isn’t in any way meant to knock vitamin supplements, but rather to use them as a comparison: a chimney cleaning log might be a useful product to supplement the regular maintenance of a chimney, but it cannot replace an actual cleaning process performed by a certified, licensed chimney sweep.
A chimney sweep goes where no log has gone before
Professional chimney-cleaning technicians use specialized equipment to thoroughly clean the inside of a chimney, removing not only creosote but also various debris than may have wound up in there and can create draft obstructions. This individual often uses a video device that is lowered into the flue to record what’s happening in order to understand exactly what needs to be done to resolve the problem.
A chimney cleaning log will never tell you the condition of your chimney. The homeowner who’s burning one of these logs may gain a (false) sense of security, like the vitamin-poppers, but problems may exist and continue to develop until one day a catastrophe occurs. For the vitamin-enthusiast, it might be a serious health risk. For the homeowner with a fireplace, it might be a devastating house fire.
We’re not saying to never use a chimney cleaning log, and we’re not saying to use one, either. Our business is the professional cleaning of chimneys, and since the early days of the chimney sweep – think of those guys in black top hats hopping around on the roofs of 17th century London homes – we haven’t found a better way to do the job.
Guardian Chimney Sweep is here to answer your questions and provide the highest quality chimney cleaning and inspection available in the greater Houston area. Before you throw another chimney cleaning log on the fire, give us a call and let’s find out exactly what’s going on inside your chimney. You can reach us at (713) 401-2011.