Chimney Sweeping Log
A chimney sweeping log is a chimney cleaner used to reduce the likelihood of chimney fires. It claims to reduce the wieght, thickness and flammability of creosote in your chimney. As you probably already know, creosote is a by-product of wood burning that causes dangerous chimney fires.
What is the chimney cleaner product?
The chimney sweeping log is a product that you add to a bed of hot coals in your fireplace or woodstove. As it burns, it releases chemicals that are supposed to reduce the amount of creosote that is attached the the inner walls of your chimney.
The most popular brand goes by the name of Creosote Sweeping Log. There are also many other brands that go by similar names and they all work in the same manner. The chemicals attach themselves to the creosote and make it less flammable and supposedly cause it to flake off your chimney liner.
Does it Work?
Here's the deal: These logs may very well lessen the amount of creosote build-up in your chimney. However, they are in NO WAY an acceptable substitute to a proper chimney cleaning.
Creosote is a substance that can take many forms from a soot to a sticky tar-like substance to a hardened shell. It is not going to magically disappear because it is exposed to some chemicals. In my opinion, if you are going to use a cleaning log, it should be used before you do an actual cleaning with the theory that it will make the creosote easier to remove especially in its hardened stage.
Chimney Sweeping Logs are not necessarily a waste of money because they can lessen the effects of creosote build-up. My issue is the manner in which they present the product. Reading the label you are led to think that it's a suitable alternative to having someone clean you chimney. This is far from the truth.
There is no substitute for having a chimney cleaned! Bottom line- end of story.
You will probably find this product the most useful if you have creosote that is at the hardened stage in your chimney (this is the last stage in creosote build-up and is not the most common). The hardened creosote is often difficult to remove with a brush alone. Using one of these sweeping logs could allow for easier removal.
Remember, if you think you may be at risk for a chimney fire, contact a professional to inspect it for you. Also, make sure you are burning seasoned wood as this will greatly reduce the amount of creosote in your chimney.
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