Chimney Cleaning Logs: What Do They Do? Pros and Cons

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Have you ever experienced a chimney fire or known someone who has? Chimney fires are more common than you might think, but there’s an easy solution. Professional chimney sweeps can clean your chimney and get rid of soot and creosote build up.

But what if you need to clean your flue between professional cleanings? Chimney cleaning logs are a popular tool that you can put in your fireplace like wood.

As it burns, it can loosen the soot and keep your chimney free of dirt and debris. However, using these logs alone is never a good replacement for an annual chimney inspection and cleaning by a certified chimney sweep.

What Do Chimney Cleaning Logs Do?

Chimney sweeping logs help clear out your chimney and remove any creosote. These logs may also be referred to as a creosote sweeping log, a chimney sweeping log, a creosote log, or a creosote cleaning log.

Creosote builds up when you use green or less-dry firewood. Because the fire doesn’t get as hot, smoke condenses faster.

As it condenses, it clings to the walls of the chimney. The creosote build-up can also occur if your fireplace doesn’t have sufficient airflow. While you can use the right type of firewood and keep your fireplace and chimney open, you may still need cleaning logs.

You can put the log with your next fire, and its chemicals will help loosen the creosote. By getting rid of the deposit, you can keep your chimney working efficiently, and you can reduce the chances of chimney fires.

When you use this type of log, you don’t have to worry about cleaning the chimney yourself. You can use the logs each week or month depending on how often you use your fireplace. That way, you can keep everything in working order.

Do Cleaning Logs Really Work?

Cleaning logs work well as a quick fix for creosote build-up. Creosote occurs in three stages, and these logs can help with the first stage. At that point, the creosote is flaky, and you can brush it away.

But by the second stage, the flakes contain tar. You’ll need to contact a professional chimney sweep to fix the issue. The third stage is when the creosote turns into a glaze, and you will need to replace the chimney liner to get rid of everything.

If you use a chimney cleaning log regularly, they can work well. But you should get a professional cleaning as well. Not only can a chimney sweep get rid of stage one creosote, but a pro can clean up stages two and three as well.

While a chimney sweeping log loosens creosote buildup, it won’t get rid of it. A professional chimney sweep can dispose of the creosote so that you don’t risk it catching on fire.

Are Cleaning Logs Safe?

When you use them often and correctly, these logs are safe. You can burn the creosote log in your fireplace, so you don’t need to get into your chimney. These logs have chemicals that loosen the creosote, but you can use them in any wood-burning fire.

You do need to make sure you remove the creosote as it falls to the bottom of your fireplace. After you use one of these logs, use a broom to sweep up debris. That way, you won’t risk the creosote building up and catching fire.

You should also use these logs along with professional chimney sweeps. A professional can ensure your chimney is clean, and they can reach places that the chimney logs can miss.

You don’t need to bring in a professional every time you need to clean your chimney. But you should take advantage of chimney sweep services to maintain your chimney and fireplace.

Advantages of Chimney Cleaning Logs

These logs have other advantages besides their safety. For one, they’re easy to use. You simply put the log in your fireplace and light it like another piece of wood. Over a few hours, the cleaning logs will do their job.

And if you end up not using one of these logs, that’s fine. You can store them for a while, and they will still work well. Buying them in bulk can save you money, and you can always have one on hand when you need it.

If you want to clean your fireplace between professional cleanings, you’ll love these logs. You can sweep out the bottom of your fireplace, and you can clean around the sides. However, a cleaning log can loosen the soot that’s out of your reach.

Disadvantages of Chimney Cleaning Logs

While a creosote log is an excellent tool, these aren’t a substitute for a certified chimney sweep. Even if you use one after every time you use your fireplace, you will still need to hire a chimney sweep. Professionals can clear out all stages of creosote, including the hard to remove stages two and three creosote.

If you don’t clear out the loose creosote, you can put yourself at risk of chimney fires. The creosote at the bottom of your fireplace can also catch fire. This is yet another reason to hire a chimney sweep whenever you start to use your fireplace.

These logs are fantastic for wood-burning fireplaces, but they aren’t for ones that use gas or propane. You should use other cleaning methods if your home has such a fireplace.

How Often Should You Clean a Chimney?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that you have a professional chimney inspection and cleaning at least once a year. Even if you rarely use the fireplace, animals may take up shelter in the chimney and bees may decide it’s perfect for building a hive in the summer.

Any time you use the chimney, creosote can build up. While it can be hard to tell, you should use a creosote sweeping log when the creosote layer is 1/8 of an inch thick. That way, you can keep it from getting too thick and progressing to a later stage.

If you’re unsure of if you should clean your chimney, go ahead and do it. It’s better to be safe and use a cleaning log when you don’t need it than to wait too long.

When to Hire a Chimney Sweep

While you can clean your flue with these logs, you should hire a chimney sweep once a year. The chimney sweep can inspect the entire chimney, and they can get rid of any creosote or soot in the duct and at the bottom.

A professional can also clean out the flue, damper and other chimney parts. Chimney cleaning logs can help loosen the soot, but a chimney sweep can ensure your chimney is free of that build-up.

Are you due for a professional chimney cleaning? Schedule an appointment with a chimney sweep today.

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Our team is available to answer any of your chimney, fireplace, or masonry-related questions.

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