Spring is here and it is about time to start your spring cleaning. You might want to consider adding a chimney sweep to your list. Now is the perfect time to get that fireplace or wood stove flue swept out before the rush of the busy season in the fall and winter. You may have seen and heard about creosote logs, and perhaps have even heard that these will “clean the chimney” or even that you no longer need to sweep the chimney because they burn cleaner than wood. Neither of these statements are true, though. While some of these products might burn cleaner than wood, it does not mean they should take the place of your annual or semi annual chimney sweep. These creosote cleaning products contain additives that are released through the smoke and cling to creosote. This is done through a chemical reaction and may cause the creosote to become brittle, therefore making it easier to sweep the chimney flue.
What is creosote and why is it dangerous?
Creosote is a natural byproduct of wood combustion, consisting mainly of tar and other trace chemicals. It is highly flammable and often sticks to parts of a fireplace, stove pipe, and chimney. Creosote will never go away on its own, which is why you should sweep your chimney or hire a professional to do so on a regular basis. Build-up of this tar-based byproduct is easily flammable, which could result in a chimney fire.
Should you use a creosote cleaning product?
The purpose of these types of products (logs, spray, powder) is to help break up the creosote so that when a professional comes to sweep the chimney, it is easier to help remove the creosote. The Village Chimney Sweeps does sell a spray, called ACS (or Anti-Creosote Spray), that does the same thing as the popular creosote cleaning logs. Inquire in the showroom, a call to the office, or ask your technician for a bottle. Just be sure to give your local chimney sweep a call to get the flue swept as well.