Chimney Sweeping Logs: Do They Really Work?

  • July 30, 2018

A chimney sweep’s brush vs chimney sweeping logs. Do these logs really clean the chimney?  I have been cleaning chimneys for 30 years now, and I get this question asked of me several times each year. I cannot speak for the cleaning logs because I have not observed their effect over time with various degrees of creosote build-up.

To be able to answer this question, I would have to start with a clean chimney. I would have to record how much wood was burned over a given period of time and how long it took for the chimney to get to the point where a manual sweeping was required. And of course, I would need to keep a record of when the chimney cleaning logs were used. If you have a pre-existing heavy build-up of third-degree creosote, then the cleaning log is not going to handle it. You will need to call in a sweep that has experience in using specific chemicals, equipment, and procedures to remove this dangerous build-up.

Other points to consider: what your chimney sweeping log can’t see.

Your chimney cleaning log does not have a trained eye for the condition of your chimney and fireplace or wood stove. Consider this standard Condition Report that we fill out as a routine part of a chimney cleaning (Click image to enlarge:)

There are 21 points of inspection. Chimneys are not rocket science, and a close inspection with some common sense can alert you to the majority of things that can be wrong with a chimney, fireplace, or woodstove.

My best advice (if you are going to use these logs) is that you start with photographs of your chimney flue interior and the smoke chamber above the damper. Record all of the data I listed above and come to your own conclusion. The cleaning logs do not take the place of structural and mechanical inspections; these need to be done as well.

And remember, there are simply situations where cleaning logs do not take the place of chimney sweep brushes.

The safe bet is that you start with a chimney that is clean, and use the log as a preventative maintenance measure.


Cliff and his crew wear amazing. Quality work for an affordable price. We had 6 estimates and Rooftop Chimney came in better than the rest. Highly recommend for honesty, explaining things well and fair price. Thank you Rooftop Chimney!

Angela Grissom


Leaving this review for my parents, who recently hired Cliff from Rooftop Chimney for a chimney repair, back in June. They were quick with an estimate, at a fair price and the work was scheduled promptly. They did an excellent job and we would definitely hire them again in the future or recommend them to friends!

Glenn Loontjens


I’m selling my house and needed the wood stove insert removed. With the closing date approaching, Rooftop Chimney was able to work me in their schedule and get the job done quickly and professionally. I got the DEQ certificate much faster than I thought I would. Thanks to Justin and his crew!!! I would highly recommend Rooftop Chimney.

Iain Mackintosh


Arrived on time – worked very hard to remove our very heavy fireplace insert and took extreme care to do the job well. Completed their work by cleaning our two chimneys and got it all done in good time. We would recommend their services to all.

Cynthia Keene


After selling our home, the inspection indicated that there was some work that needed to be done on our chimney including repairing some mortar as well as putting a top cap on the chimney. I contacted Rooftop Chimney and Roof Services. They were very knowledgeable answering all of my questions. That along with prompt professional service I would recommend them for any chimney needs you may need!

Gloria Cettina

Experiencing some Chimney Pain?Send Us Your Chimney Photos

We do give free estimates, but we have found over the years that getting photos ahead of time can speed things up dramatically. Heck, we have talked ourselves out of work by seeing photos and telling the customer “No, you do not need a several-thousand dollar rebuild; it looks like you only need a…”. It has happened.