So, you have your dream fireplace and beautiful chimney. The last thing you want is to be run out of house and home by foul odors! However, when the weather warms, you may be surprised to find that your chimney is beginning to stink—and it’s not pleasant.
Types of Chimney Odors and What They Mean
- Musty Odors.
Musty/moldy odors often mean that your chimney has a leak. Also, that there is water sitting in the smoke chamber. This allows mold growth inside the chimney flue, fireplace, and masonry.
- Smoky/BBQ Odors.
Smoky odors can mean that your chimney has a draft that is pushing air into your home from the chimney system. This can occur even with the damper closed. Additionally, it occurs when the the fireplace and chimney haven’t been cleaned. Why? Humidity combines with soot and creosote, resulting in this particular smell.
- Rotting/Decomposition Odors.
Foul odors like that of rotting leaves and wildlife has a distinct odor. In addition, dead animals have a distinct odor all on their own. These types of odor means there may be a dead animal, animal feces, or just a debris buildup in your chimney system that is decomposing.
When to Call a Professional
Do you suspect there is a dead animal in your chimney system? If so, you should call a professional right away to have it removed. Dead and decomposing animals release harmful gases and can also be diseased. It’s also generally unpleasant, as most foul odors are.
Evidence of a leaky chimney, like musty and moldy odors, are also a good reason to call a professional. Not only could there be damage to the masonry and other parts of the chimney system, but the source of the leak needs to be found. A professional chimney sweep should repair damage and correct the source of the leak. Plus, finish by waterproofing the system to prevent recurrence.
What You Can Do
If your chimney emits odors, it’s a pretty strong indication that it needs to be cleaned, no matter what type of smell it is. Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. This is for the safest and most efficient use of your chimney. If your chimney is cleaned and inspected annually, there shouldn’t be a buildup that can result in foul odors. However, if it has been cleaned regularly and you still experience foul odors, there may be a case of negative pressure. This can be corrected with minor changes.
If you’re unsure about the cause of your chimney woes, you should call a professional and have it checked out. A chimney expert at White Glove can clean, assess, waterproof, and close out your chimney properly for the off-season. With our help you will have a fire-ready chimney this fall, and won’t be bothered by unwelcome odors in the meantime!
Call White Glove today or request an appointment online.