Chimney cleaning logs, or creosote sweeping logs, have been on the market for several years now. While they do help a little with creosote buildup, they do not thoroughly clean your chimney and cannot replace a yearly inspection and cleaning. Neglecting to follow health and safety guidelines for your chimney puts your home and family at unnecessary risk for a chimney fire, house fire, or carbon monoxide poisoning.
The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) recommends the following steps to ensure a safe and properly functioning chimney:
- A complete chimney inspection by a qualified professional
- All necessary repairs made by a qualified professional
- The mechanical sweeping of a chimney and the removal of creosote and other potentially hazardous materials by a professional chimney sweep
You may find this and more information at the official CSIA website.
Follow Recommended Use Guidelines
You should always follow manufacturer’s instructions when dealing with anything related to your fireplace and chimney. According to the manufacturer’s instructions, you should use creosote sweeping logs (CSL) as follows:
- Weekend Fireplace Use: Use one CSL per season, either at the start or middle of the season.
- One Fire Per Day: Use two CSLs per season, one at the start and one in the middle of the season.
- Continuous Fireplace Use: Use one CSL every two months with regular usage to avoid high creosote buildup.
- Small Fireplace/Flue: Use one CSL every 60 fires.
- Large Fireplace/Flue: Use two CSLs simultaneously
The directions for use also indicate to render creosote brittle, and aid mechanical cleaning in case of heavy creosote buildup. So as you can see, they are not intended to thoroughly clean creosote from the flue. But they may aid in the cleaning during your yearly inspection and cleaning.
Scheduling Your Yearly Chimney Cleaning
You should never avoid scheduling your yearly chimney cleaning and inspection, especially if you use your fireplace. Some homeowners believe that if they only use their fireplace a few times a year, it’s okay; it doesn’t need to be cleaned or inspected. Unfortunately that is not the case. Neglecting to have the chimney inspected puts your home in danger of an unintentional house fire, and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Hidden chimney dangers include:
- Small animals hiding in the chimney.
- Bird nests blocking the flow of smoke.
- Cracks in the flue.
- Dangerous creosote buildup.
Any type of blockage in the chimney creates a very dangerous situation for everyone involved. When smoke cannot escape through the chimney, it will fill up your home, bringing carbon monoxide and soot with it.
Schedule your fireplace and chimney inspection for the same time each year so you don’t forget it. Many homeowners include it in other regular homeowner maintenance practices like changing the filter in the HVAC unit, and putting new batteries in the smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. Call me at 610-626-2439 any time to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection and cleaning in the greater Philadelphia area.