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4 Reasons Your Chimney May Smell and What to Do About Them

dirty chimney and creosote build up in zionsville inHave you been noticing odd odors in your home?  If you’ve eliminated most other possible causes, it’s time to look at your chimney.  A variety of things can cause a chimney to give off an unpleasant smell.  Fortunately, they’re all easy to fix, once you’ve pinpointed the problem.

Air pressure issues

If your home is “air-tight,” you might have a negative air pressure situation that is preventing air from flowing up and out of the chimney.  All chimneys contain some level of odor, and if air is coming down into your home, you may notice an unpleasant smell.

How to fix:  Keep the damper sealed tightly when a fire is not running.  A tight glass screen installed across the fireplace opening also may help.  If you can crack a window or two, do so.

Buildup of creosote & soot

If your chimney has an excessive buildup of creosote and soot, you’re almost certainly going to get some foul odors inside your home.  The key word here is “excessive.”  And it’s up to you to decide how much is too much.

How to fix:  First, have your chimney professional cleaned.  After that, burn only seasoned hardwood, which generates much less creosote than softwoods.  Hardwoods include hickory, oak, sugar maple, beech and pine.

Moisture getting in

As you already know, long-standing dampness anywhere causes an odor.  Water inside your chimney will do the same.  But more of a concern than odor is the damage that water will do to a chimney and damper.

How to fix: Have your chimney inspected, and have repairs made to whatever areas are letting in water.  If you don’t have a chimney cap, install one.  Eventually the heat from fires will get rid of residual moisture.

Dead animals & debris

Little animals and birds love chimneys – they hang out there, make their nests there and, unfortunately sometimes die there.  It’s nearly impossible to keep the smell of a dead animal in your chimney out of your house.  Debris like twigs and leaves also can enter the chimney and, once moist from rain, give off a horrible smell.

expert chimney sweeping dirty chimneyHow to fix: Bring in a chimney sweep to clean all the junk out of the chimney.  Fix permanently by having a secure chimney cap installed.

The good news is, most any cause of odor coming from your chimney can be addressed and remedied.  The bad news is, if your chimney is producing a lot of off-putting odors, you probably haven’t had it serviced for some time.  Be safe and smart – schedule annual inspection and cleaning with a certified chimney sweep at the same time each year.

Chimney Solutions of Indianapolis provides professional chimney inspection, repair, maintenance and complete cleaning of all types of chimneys.  To keep your family safe, and to keep your home smelling nice, call (317) 757-6979.

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