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The Dangers Of Ineffective “Chimney Cleaning Logs”

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Many homeowners are on the lookout for fast, easy, and inexpensive ways to maintain their fireplace and chimney. One product that promises to clean your chimney for a fraction of the cost of a chimney sweep is chimney cleaning logs. While chimney cleaning logs may seem like a good idea, using them can actually be dangerous.

The Dangers of Ineffective Chimney Cleaning Logs - Westhampton NY - Guaranteed Chimney

What are chimney cleaning logs?

Sold in a variety of home improvement stores, chimney cleaning logs claim to replace the need for a chimney sweep by loosening creosote in the flue. Because of this claim, some homeowners choose to use chimney cleaning logs in place of chimney maintenance done by certified professionals; unfortunately, these products do not even come close to what a chimney sweep can do and can wind up causing more harm than good in the long run.

Chimney cleaning logs work by loosening the creosote in the flue; as the log is burned and smoke travels up the chimney, the smoke works to loosen the creosote. In theory, the creosote can then fall down and into the firebox where it can be swept up and removed with the rest of the soot and ash. In practice, however, chimney cleaning logs rarely – if ever – work as well as advertised.

The majority of chimneys do not form a straight, vertical line from the top of the flue to the bottom of the firebox. While each chimney is unique, most have at least one bend at the smoke shelf – if not more curves and bends due to venting and location. Because of this, the loosened creosote may not fall into the firebox; instead, it can accumulate in the bends of the flue. As creosote is highly flammable, this buildup of creosote significantly increases the risk of accidental chimney fire. Not only does it increase the risk of chimney fire, but accumulated creosote in the smoke shelf can also be extremely difficult to remove.

Chimney cleaning logs do not replace a chimney sweep

While chimney cleaning logs may help loosen creosote, they are not a substitute for 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.”

Chimney cleaning logs also pose a danger because they in no way evaluate the overall condition of your chimney system. During a chimney inspection a certified chimney sweep inspects the accessible portions of the interior and exterior fireplace and chimney looking for signs of damage or deterioration. Chimney cleaning logs merely loosen creosote, meaning that chimney damage that impacts the safety of your fireplace system can go unnoticed.

Don’t trust the safety of your family to a $20 chimney cleaning log. Instead, let the experts at Guaranteed Chimney Sweeps care for all of your chimney and fireplace maintenance. Contact us today to schedule your next chimney service appointment!