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Do Fireplace Cleaning Logs Really Work?

Spend less than $20 on a creosote sweeping log, light it in your wood-burning fireplace, and dangerous creosote buildup falls away as it burns. Sounds like a simple solution to creosote, which can cause a fire to start in your fireplace, spread through your home and endanger your life. Given the serious consequences, a fireplace cleaning log sounds too good to be a true solution.

The fact of the matter is that fireplace cleaning logs do work to an extent, but they are not meant to replace professional fireplace cleaning (chimney sweep service). These logs can make it easier to remove creosote from your chimney.

What is Creosote?

Creosote is a tar-like substance that accumulates in your chimney and fireplace pipes every time you enjoy a fire in your wood-burning fireplace. Creosote is extremely flammable, and thus is a main cause for many house fires. Creosote can build up for years. If you recently bought a home or it’s been a while since you had your fireplace inspected, it’s wise not to let another winter go by without scheduling an inspection and/or chimney sweep service from an experienced professional.

How Do Fireplace Cleaning Logs Get Rid of Creosote?

It’s hard to imagine that burning one log could make a measurable dent in ridding your chimney of a flammable, tar-like material, especially if it’s been accumulating for who knows how long. But they can to some extent, especially if creosote hasn’t been building up for too long, thanks to a chemical reaction.

A creosote sweeping log’s material is a compressed chemical mix. When burned in your wood-burning fireplace, the chemical mix releases and works to change the structure of creosote, turning it from a tar-like substance to a dry, flakey one. Therefore, fireplace cleaning logs don’t necessarily get rid of creosote, but they can make it easier for a professional to remove it.

The best time to burn a creosote sweeping log is on hot embers left over from a regular wood fire in your fireplace. Burning a wood fire first heats any creosote in your chimney and helps the chemical mix adhere to it. These logs are for wood-burning fireplaces only, and it’s generally recommended one log be burned approximately every 60 fires.

Fireplace Cleaning Logs Can be a Helpful Precursor to a Professional Chimney Sweep and Inspection

No number of fireplace cleaning logs can replace annual chimney sweep service and inspection, especially for Kansas City homeowners who tend to use their wood-burning fireplaces a lot throughout the cold winters. But don’t take our word for it.

In its publication that sets the standard for chimneys, fireplaces, vents and solid fuel-burning appliances, the non-profit organization National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends you have your chimneys, fireplaces and vents inspected (and cleaned if necessary) every year.

If creosote is found during an inspection, a chimney sweep can clean it away, drastically improving your fireplace’s safety. Creosote is just one danger an inspection reveals. Complete Home Concepts uses Chim-Scan video equipment to detect any blockages from nests or debris, deterioration signs on the damper or smoke shelf, broken or missing tile liners, loose or missing mortar joints and cracks. Our experts also perform a visual inspection of the exterior chimney for signs of potential problems.

READ MORE about what’s involved with our professional chimney sweep service, certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Don’t Put Off Chimney Sweep Service This Fall

It’s important enough to repeat that creosote sweeping logs aren’t sufficient to completely rid a chimney of all creosote. They are no replacement for an annual inspection and cleaning, but they can make it easier for a professional to fully remove creosote buildup.

Trust the experts at Complete Home Concepts to perform certified inspections and cleaning. Fill out a service request form to schedule an appointment online.