Chimney sweeping logs-do they really work?

fireplace

A chimney sweep’s brush vs chimney sweeping logs. Do these logs really clean the chimney?¬† I have been cleaning chimneys for 24 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 used 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.

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 sweep (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 and the smoke chamber above the damper. Record all of the data I listed above and come to your own conclusion. Make sure you have a reliable chimney sweep if you are going to use his assistance. The 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.

Have a good week!

Cliff

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About the Author:

A 24-year veteran of the chimney repair trade, Cliff has experience in most phases of chimney construction and repair. He began as a chimney sweep apprentice in 1991. Two years later he began to educate himself in bricklaying and chimney construction. He claims that "it has been an interesting trade to say the least.