The manufacturer claims that the CSL log is to be burned for approximately 90 minutes, after which creosote deposits will fall down into the fire, smoke shelf, or wood stove. Then the consumer is to use their chimney normally. The catalytic action of the chemicals takes up to 15 days to work.
The packaging also bears the following message: “Regular chimney inspections are always recommended. The CSL will not tell you if your chimney is blocked or has any kind of structural damage. The Creosote Sweeping Log does not take the place of inspection and professional cleaning.”
“Chimneys cannot be inspected by a CSL Log,” says Gene Padgitt, owner of Padgitt Chimney & Fireplace in Independence, Missouri. “It takes a professionally trained chimney sweep to do the inspection with an internal camera system.” “However, most consumers don’t read the entire label and may have a false sense of security, believing that they don’t need the services of a chimney sweep any longer, says Padgitt. Gene also believes that a chimney can only be thoroughly swept with professional brushes, and he does not have confidence that the log can do as thorough a job.
“The CSL website states that it is OK to use the CSL log in a wood stove, however, wood stove manufacturer instructions state that only dry hardwoods should be burned, and the use of any other product may void the warranty of the stove. The same is true for some of the manufactured fireplaces.
Some consumers report chimney fires occuring right after using the CSL log. Two Kansas City homeowners used the log in the winter of 2010 and had chimney fires the next day. “I don’t think this is a coincidence, I believe it was due to the creosote falling down closer to the fire in the fireplace, which ignited” said Gene Padgitt.
The MCSC recommends annual inspection and sweeping as necessary by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. Visit the MCSC website at www.mcsc-net.org for more information.
Contact Marge Padgitt, Vice-President and Educational Director, Midwest Chimney Safety Council at 816-461-3665 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.