There are dozens of products on the market today that claim to make it easier for homeowners to maintain their fireplace systems. While the ease of use – and low prices – of these products may be tempting, they can in no way replace the services of a professional certified chimney sweep. One such product that claims to replace your chimney sweep is chimney sweeping logs.
How chimney sweeping logs claim to work
As advertised, chimney sweeping logs seem like a fast, cheap, and easy way to clean your chimney and avoid having it professionally swept. Chimney cleaning logs claim to reduce the amount of creosote in the chimney system; as the log is burned, the smoke generated loosens the creosote and allows it to fall down into the firebox. When the log has been burned, the creosote can safely be swept up with the remaining soot and ash.
If these claims seem too good to be true, it’s because they are. Chimney sweeping logs do not clean as advertised and may end up doing more harm than good to your chimney.
Most flues are not built in straight vertical lines; in addition to a bend at the smoke shelf, some flues have additional turns and curves as they vent to the outside. Unfortunately, this means that the creosote loosened by the chimney sweeping log may not actually make it to the firebox; instead, it can accumulate on the smoke shelf or in the bends of the flue.
Because creosote is extremely flammable, having it accumulate anywhere in the flue can increase the risk of chimney fire. Likewise, creosote stuck in the bends of the flue or on the smoke shelf can be difficult to clean and remove without professional assistance.
Chimney sweeping logs can’t replace professional chimney sweeps
While chimney sweeping logs claim to clean your chimney, they are no substitute for the services of a professional chimney sweep.
“I usually tell people using one of those logs instead of having your chimney cleaned manually is like chewing Dentyne instead of brushing your teeth,” said Allan Bopp of Bald Eagle Enterprises. “It may help a little, but it’s a poor substitute for the real thing.”
In addition to correctly and completely removing soot, ash, and creosote from the flue, professional chimney sweeps can also inspect and evaluate your chimney system. Because so much of the chimney is nearly impossible to see or inaccessible from the ground, it is important to work with a professional who can inspect these hard to reach areas of the chimney – as well as understand what they are looking at. Certified chimney sweeps can evaluate the condition of your entire chimney system; in many cases, they can help spot small areas of deterioration before it turns into major damage.
When it comes to chimney maintenance, nothing can replace the expertise of a certified chimney sweep. Instead of trusting your family’s health and safety to a $20 log from a big box store, trust the experts at Pristine Sweeps to care for your fireplace and chimney system. Contact us today to schedule your next chimney sweeping appointment.