We like to think that having a fireplace at home is always a good idea. It gives off a warm and cozy feeling, it speaks of good taste, and it adds to the uniqueness of your home. That is until the day you have to clean your chimney, and you realize that you have no idea how to do it.If you decide to take care of this task on your own, there are plenty of chimney cleaning kits that you can purchase. A chimney sweeper, also known as a sweeping log, is one of the most common tools used by homeowners to remove debris.
Another common practice is to hire a chimney cleaning service and let them take care of this problem for you. However, if you choose this route, you must factor in the costs and time needed to find a reliable service.
So, what option should you choose? Let’s analyze both of them and decide if you should use a chimney sweeper or hire specialized help.
What Sweeping Logs Do
If you use your fireplace on a regular basis, then you are progressively building up some debris deposited along the chimney walls. The main problem with this debris is that it is highly flammable and it can cause your chimney to catch on fire. So, if you have a fireplace, it’s recommended to have it inspected by a chimney cleaning service at least once annually to avoid such situations. If you don’t want to hire someone, you can use a sweeping log to clean your chimney.
A chimney sweeper can help you rid the sticky creosote deposits that cast on your chimney walls. They are infused with special chemicals that react with the creosote deposits by breaking them into small fragments. In the end, the debris will be reduced to ash and crumble down into your fireplace.
Pros of Chimney Sweeping Logs
- The most obvious argument for sweeping logs is that they are very easy to use. That’s one of the main reasons they’ve become extremely popular among householders;
- Sweeping logs are also affordable and easy to store;
- They are very well designed and suited to work on most chimneys. Due to the length and shape of most chimneys, it can be a bit challenging to clean them manually. Brooms cannot reach the creosote deposited along every corner and angle.
Cons of Chimney Sweeping Logs
At first glance, a sweeping log sounds like a great investment. But, before you purchase one, you should discover some of their cons as well.
- The main problem with chimney sweepers is that their effectiveness is limited to fireplaces that burn wood. They won’t work on propane fireplaces or those powered by natural gas;
- Sweeping logs cannot remove birds’ nests or other massive obstructions. Also, it is critical to remember that chimney cleaning logs do not guarantee the complete removal of all creosote deposits.
- Perhaps the most important disadvantage you must consider is the safety of sweeping logs. As mentioned above, creosote is extremely flammable. If you don’t know how to maneuver the log properly, debris might fall causing flame spurts in the fireplace.
In conclusion, yes, it is possible to clean your chimney by yourself, but should you really do it? Is it worth it to risk your family’s safety just to save some dollars? Why not hire a professional chimney cleaning service to do the hard work while you enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir in front of your fireplace?