Why Does Your Fireplace Smell?
There can be many reasons why you have a smelly chimney. The first time you notice it may be after a heavy rainstorm, though they can appear at any time. Commonly when the heat and humidity of summer arrives, the chimney stink comes with it. Often, it can be challenging for a homeowner to diagnose, but it's easier when you work with a professional chimney company.
Creosote inside the chimney combined with soot can produce bad odors when it gets wet. A professional chimney cleaning will remove those materials and in many cases remove the smells too. An inspection may even reveal a dead animal or bird in the flue or nesting materials that can cause the smells. In some cases, it may be that you have a leak that has allowed mold and/or mildew to grow within your flue. This may be from damaged flashing, cracked brick, or even a missing chimney cap.
A missing chimney cap can also lead to a smelly chimney because it allows leaves, dirt, and debris to clog your flue. As these decompose, they can create very unpleasant odors.
Each of these should be addressed ASAP.
What Is Creosote?
Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood. It’s a black, sticky, tar-like substance that is both toxic and flammable. If the wood you use has a higher moisture content because it didn’t have sufficient time to dry out, this will lead to faster and larger creosote buildup within your flue.
When water mixes with creosote, it creates an unpleasant odor. A chimney that hasn’t been serviced for a while with a sweep or inspection may have an excessively high level of creosote. When mixed with water, whether from a leak or precipitation, it can lead to a smelly chimney.
The HVAC Effect
As your HVAC system pulls air in to circulate, it can sometimes magnify the odors within your home. This includes your chimney as the smells within your flue are then brought into your living spaces. This natural process of cooling your home in the summer may also help alert you to problems within our chimney.
We Fix Smelly Chimneys
At the most basic level, all you may need to eliminate a smelly fireplace is a chimney sweep. During our inspection, we’ll identify the cause of your smells and help come up with solutions to fix them. We can also perform any necessary chimney repairs at this time.
For almost three decades, we’ve provided chimney repairs in the Greater Pittsburgh, PA area including Cranberry, Wexford, Beaver Falls, Uniontown, Belle Vernon, Waynesburg, Greensburg, Washington, Monroeville, Bethel Park, Glenshaw, and the Morgantown, Fairmont and Clarksburg, WV region. Our team has encountered many types of problems during the chimney sweep process, including a smelly chimney more times than you might expect. We can help diagnose and fix this issue during a chimney cleaning.
Providing Chimney Service In PA and WV
You don’t have to live with a smelly chimney. If you’re in or around these communities, Advance Chimney Sweeps can help. We are Pittsburgh’s trusted chimney company, family-owned, and fully licensed and insured. If you have odd or unpleasant odors coming from your fireplace, contact our office for chimney service by calling (800) 822-2131.