Chimney Cleaning Logs: What Do They Do? Pros and Cons

Many cleaning companies use a cleaning log when they come in to clean your fireplace. Here is everything there is to know about Chimney Cleaning Logs and if they work or not. Is there any advantages and disadvantages of using them?

Introduction

In order for these logs to be effective, the company needs to make sure the hardwood floor in your home has been protected from any mold or other hazardous materials before they come in. These logs need a carbon monoxide detector in every room where the fireplace is located, too.

Chimney fires are relatively uncommon, considering the number of chimneys out there, but they do happen. Have you ever experienced a chimney fire or known someone who has? They do happen though, but when they happen, there is an easy solution – professional chimney sweeps.

Professional chimney sweeps are qualified to clean your chimney and rid it of soot, creosote build-up, or the ash that falls out of the fire. They have all the necessary equipment needed for this.

But what if you need to clean your chimney before the next professional cleanings? Chimney cleaning logs are the next best thing.

As the fire burns, it will loosen the soot and keep your chimney free of dirt. However, using logs to clean of your chimney is not a good substitute for an annual chimney inspection and cleaning by a certified chimney sweep. Just so you know.

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Chimney Cleaning Logs: What Do They Do? Pros and Cons

What Do Chimney Cleaning Logs Do?

The logs are put into the fireplace where they are lit, which burns the soot that is in the fireplace. They are then removed after a while, and by this time your fireplace will have been cleaned enough to be able to use it without having to repeat the chimney cleaning process again.

Creosote is a by-product that builds up when you use green or less-dry firewood. When the fire doesn’t get as hot, smoke condenses faster and can create creosote. As it condenses, it clings to the walls of the chimney.
One way to make your fireplace more efficient is to put a cleaning log on the fire. When you burn it, its chemical properties will help loosen the creosote that builds up in your chimney

Do Cleaning Logs Really Work?

The simplest answer is no, but then, there are different sides to the story. Chimney cleaning logs do not work effectively, but one can always argue that it works.

While people often use chimney cleaning logs to improve the efficiency of wood-burning stoves, they are not effective in that environment, nor are they effective in removing hardened soot from the chimney either.

If you are using logs to clean your chimney, there are unnecessary risks involved too. First off, you will need to plug every fireplace except the one in which you keep the logs burning. You cannot leave any logs unattended when lighting them. You also cannot put two logs into your chimney at once; doing so can cause them both to burn too intensely and cause fire damage or even start a fire that could lead to injury if it gets out of control.

Next, the ash that is removed from the chimney by the logs can often still contain undiluted creosote. This undiluted creosote will create a hazardous smoke in your home if it gets in the air or in contact with any flammable material. This can cause burns or poisoning, so if you are using logs to clean your chimney you must take great care in removing them safely and hygienically.

Lastly, there are other options for getting rid of creosote buildup besides using logs. A chimney sweep can often fit into your schedule more easily than a professional cleaning company, and they also have the safety equipment necessary to safely remove creosote deposits from your chimney. If you are having problems with creosote buildup on the walls of your chimney, have a truly qualified professional perform service on your chimney.

Are Cleaning Logs Safe?

Despite their drawbacks, the logs themselves are perfectly safe. Their primary danger is that they can start a fire or burn too intensely and cause damage to your fireplace. In this case, you will need to contact a qualified professional as mentioned above.

Are Cleaning Logs Good For The Environment?

New Clean logs are better for the environment than used ones. Rather than burning them, they continually release their ashes without causing any harm to the environment. This is because they do not get incinerated, and their ashes usually do not get discarded whichever way you choose to dispose of them (in trash or backyard incinerators).

Advantages of Using Chimney Cleaning Logs?

When you hear about trees being felled, it is easy to think that these are the only advantages of using logs. It appears that there are other benefits to chimney logs that are less obvious.

  1. Logs are relatively easy to find in the woods. One can purchase them in any local store or grocery store, without needing to know anything about the industry. This provides a lot of convenience for any person who likes to have fun with wood-burning stoves or other wood-burning appliances.
  2. They don’t burn as fast as a regular firewood. This makes them a better option for dinner parties, where you would prefer to have some control over the kind of fire that you have burning on your fireplace. Logs are easier to control than regular firewood. In fact, they burn slower than any other wood that is found on the planet, making them more economical as well as environmentally-friendly.
  3. You can find them anywhere, and they can be used in most stoves and fireplaces – except those that use electric heating.
  4. Most importantly, they don’t need to be discarded. The ashes can be disposed of in a safe place or buried in the ground.

In general, using logs is a good idea for those who have fireplaces at home. They are easy to use and they come with a lot of advantages as well as disadvantages. In the end, however, it is crucial for you to ask for help from a certified chimney sweep if you have any doubts regarding the cleanliness of your fireplace.

Disadvantages of Using Chimney Cleaning Logs?

  1. Due to the fact that they produce some unpleasant odors, you will likely use them only on special occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.
  2. Due to the fact that there is no real way to measure or gauge how effective they are, it is not easy for you to determine whether they work for you or not. Due to this, it might be a good idea for you to use another cleaner on your chimney and then use logs on select occasions.
  3. It is very dangerous if you decide to light multiple logs at once. You must be extremely careful when lighting them and should never leave any logs unattended for any reason whatsoever.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney?

Before we start this section let me state that all chimneys will need to be cleaned sooner or later and this is because they will begin to emit a certain light smoke once in a while. The key term here is light smoke and if your chimney emits a lot of it then you might be able to notice the following:

  • There will be a lingering scent in your home that is similar to the scent of firewood.
  • Your walls could get dirty from soot residue.
  • In some cases you might notice the house smelling like the smoke from a fireplace even though there isn’t one in it.

We have a lot of professional chimney cleaners in our community and we have already asked them this question. The response we got was quite simple and easy to connect with: “Every 18 months or so.”

However, in some cases, chimneys need to be cleaned more often which is why you will need to ask your chimney cleaning expert for their recommendations.

These scenarios will tell you when it is recommended to clean your chimney.

With all of the above in mind, I would like you to take a look at the four possible scenarios that we have listed below. These scenarios will tell you when it is recommended to clean your chimney.

  • Burning wood in less than 20-25 hours: If you think that it makes sense for you to burn wood inside of your home at least 25 hours or more then you should probably start thinking of cleaning your chimney. This isn’t something that an average homeowner will do but rather someone who typically burns wood inside of their home.
  • Burning a lot of firewood: If you are burning a lot of firewood, frequently for 5 days, then you should probably have your chimney cheacked out. You might even want to get rid of some of these ashes before they fall into your fireplace since there’s nothing keeping them in there and they can cause damage.
  • Your chimney is deteriorating: If your chimney is showing signs of deterioration then it is recommended that you clean it. You should clean your chimney in this way because it will allow you to prevent the occurrence of any serious problems in the future.

You should know that you can’t simply wait for your chimney to start smoking before you decide to clean it. This is because it could actually be worse than what you think and could begin to emit way too much smoke in much less time than anticipated.

Most important questions you need to ask your chimney cleaners

Here are some of the most important questions you need to ask the cleaners before they start cleaning your fireplace.

  1. What do you need to do to prepare for their arrival?

The cleaner should explain to you that in order for them to be able to make sure they are protected, you need to either put plastic down or clear out an area for them. They also require at least one CO detector that is placed in a central location in your home, depending on how many fireplaces you have in your home.

  1. How long will it take them to clean the fireplace?

If they require additional time because it takes longer than their estimate, they should charge extra fees for this extended time period. If they are able to complete their work in no longer than the time estimate, there will be no extra fees.

  1. Do you require any special tools or equipment?

Yes or no? Yes, this is something that the cleaners should be able to provide you with. If not, you will have to purchase it on your own if necessary.

  1. What are you going to do if I am not home when they arrive?

If they are unable to answer this question then I would say that it is best for you to hire them on a per contract basis rather than having them come at all on a given day on a regular basis.

  1. How does your company handle additional damage that is not covered in the contract?

This is a very important question to ask because some companies will be willing to cover the extra damage and others will simply refuse to do this. It is also possible that they do not have a way of knowing what type of damages are going to occur and thus, they will not be able to answer this question.

  1. Are you going to show me how much deposit I need to leave for them?

If they cannot provide you with a simple deposit amount then you should consider having another cleaner take over the job.

What is the average cost to have a chimney cleaned?

Chimney cleaning prices vary and it is usually dependent on the size of your chimney, the location where it is located, and also whether or not you have a wood fireplace or a gas fireplace. As far as wood fireplaces go, they tend to be much easier to clean because there is no lengthy procedure that must be followed such as with gas fireplaces.

If you need to have your wood fireplace cleaned then your price will be anywhere from $125-$200.

Conclusion

It is very important that you start looking for a professional chimney cleaning service right away. If you have chimney problems that are not being taken care of then they will only get worse over time.

There are many benefits associated with having your chimney cleaned by a professional company, including the fact that it will improve the look of your fireplace and also increase the safety of everyone who lives in your home, especially if you have children around. With so many benefits to be gained from hiring these people to take care of your fireplace, there is no reason for you to wait any longer!

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