A proper fireplace with a roaring log fire is an idyllic and cosy addition to any home.
There’s nothing better than settling down in front of the fire in the evening, but cleaning up the fireplace afterwards can be a nightmare! It’s very inconvenient, and ash and soot get everywhere.
If you don’t clean it the next morning, then when you want to build your cosy fire the next evening you will have to clean the fireplace first.
Cleaning the fireplace is important for a fire that burns cleanly and safely. It is also important to get the chimney inspected and cleaned professionally to keep your fireplace safe.
Chimney sweep logs or creosote logs claim to be able to do this for you, but do they really work? Do they get rid of enough creosote residue to make the fireplace safe to use? It sounds too good to be true, which means it probably is!
We have looked into this and put together some information about chimney sweep logs, what they do, and whether they actually work.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Are Chimney Sweep Logs?
After your fire burns out, a thick residue will be left behind. This is creosote, and it needs to be cleaned up before you build another fire.
It can be difficult to remove, but chimney sweep logs help with this. They make the creosote flaky rather than gungy so it can be more easily scraped off.
Chimney sweep logs definitely make it easier to clean up the creosote residue, but they do not remove the need for a professional chimney sweep.
However, they do make the chimney sweep’s job a little easier, so you might save a bit of money.
Why Are Professional Chimney Sweeps So Important?
A professional chimney sweep will not just clean the fireplace, they will also clean the entire flue and chimney to prevent the build up of harmful substances.
They will also check for any damage to the chimney, and any cracks or weakness to the chimney, fireplace or flue.
If there are any problems, you can get them fixed before they cause a bigger issue and put you and your family at risk.
Chimney fires are dangerous and can sometimes go undetected. They occur when there is a buildup of dirt and residue on your flue.
They don’t get enough oxygen to become explosive or burn as fiercely as the fire in your fireplace, but they can cause damage to your chimney.
If you continue to use the chimney after a fire, you are at risk of further issues of instability and damage that compromise the structural integrity of your property.
A professional chimney sweep will be able to tell you if you have had a chimney fire, and whether your chimney is safe to use. This is another reason why chimney sweep logs are no replacement for the real thing.
There are some common signs of a chimney fire that you can look out for yourself, such as warped metal, damaged flue tiles.
Damaged roofing material, cracks in the exterior masonry, and evidence of smoke escaping through joints or tile liners.
If you see any of these indicators and you think you may have had a chimney fire, then you should get your chimney inspected by a professional chimney sweep as soon as possible.
They will be able to confirm whether there was a previous fire in your chimney, advise whether the damage was repaired or not, and if there is any remedial work still to be done to make your chimney safe to use.
House fires are extremely dangerous and can cause devastating damage to your property and personal belongings. A lot of house fires are caused by fireplaces and flues that the owners thought were properly clean.
This is why it is so important to clean your fireplace and flue regularly, but to also use a professional chimney sweep.
No matter how much you clean your fireplace, you will not be able to get to all of the hard to reach areas and remove all of the dangerous residue.
It is not worth taking the risk with your safety. You can use the chimney sweep logs to make the fireplace easier to clean, but you will also need professional help.
So, Do Chimney Sweep Logs Actually Work?
The answer is yes, and no. As you can see, chimney sweep logs can be useful. They can make the day to day maintenance of your fireplace easier, removing the need for vigorous cleaning.
They make the creosote residue easier to remove. So yes, they do work in that they remove some of the work that a chimney sweep would need to do.
However, they do not entirely remove the need for a professional chimney sweep, and you will still need to regularly do a deeper clean of the fireplace and the flu.
You will also need to get your chimney inspected periodically for damage and weaknesses, and signs of a chimney fire, in order to keep your home safe.
What Other Steps Can You Take To Stay Safe?
As well as keeping your fireplace clean and getting it professionally cleaned and inspected by a chimney sweep, there are some other steps you can take to ensure your wood burning fireplace is safe.
Only use seasoned dry wood in your fires. This type of wood will burn more cleanly.
Make sure you have smoke detectors on each floor of your home and test them regularly to ensure they are working and the batteries have not run out.
It is also advisable to devise an emergency escape plan in case of a fire, and make sure that your family are all familiar with it. You can even practice it if it is safe to do so.
And remember, if you are ever in doubt about the immediate safety of your fireplace, call the emergency services. It is always better to be safe than sorry!