Summer isn’t usually the time we use our fireplace, but that doesn’t mean it can’t bring in unpleasant odors. For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of a chimney, these odors can be quite puzzling. Luckily, the crew here at Madewell knows where to look and what to watch for. And once we find the source, we’re certain we can implement some effective solutions into your home routine.
Common Causes of Chimney & Fireplace Odors
Chimney odors don’t just happen out of nowhere. In most cases, there is a specific reason that your chimney has started to smell bad. Here are some of the most common reasons for chimney and fireplace odors:
- Excess Creosote: If you own a wood-burning system, then over time, creosote will build up on the inside of your chimney. This is especially true if you are burning wood that is not properly seasoned. Creosote is a substance that adheres to the flue liner as gases and wood smoke cool and condense at the top of your chimney, and it can release an unpleasant odor into your home – especially when the A/C is cranked in the summertime.
- Birds & Animal Entry: If you have ever had a mouse or rat get into your home, then you know that they can leave behind an unpleasant smell. The same is true for animals that take up residence in your chimney. Raccoons, birds, and squirrels are all known to build nests, and all the materials they bring in (along with any animal feces) can trigger some bad odors. Also, while many times these animals get in without a problem, getting out is another story. They could get stuck and pass away, which would also invite odors – and pests.
- Rain and Moisture: If a chimney isn’t protected from water, excess moisture can easily enter and cause some issues. Once water enters the chimney it can mix with the creosote creating a pungent campfire smell. This moisture can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause a musty smell.
- Air Pressure: When the air pressure is lower indoors than outside you might notice an increase in chimney smells. If your home is fairly airtight and you turn on your cooling system the humid air from the outside will be pulled in through your chimney – along with any unpleasant odors that are lingering up there.
- Leaves & Debris Buildup: A chimney that’s not protected on top can easily welcome in all kinds of twigs, leaves, and outside debris. Not only do these clog things up when it comes time to light a fire, but it can also trigger bad, musty odors – and attract bugs too.
How Can I Get Rid of Chimney Odors?
By understanding what the main causes of chimney odors are, you can take steps to prevent them. Here are some things that you can do:
- Schedule a Chimney Sweeping & Inspection: The best way to address your summertime chimney odors is to let professionals take a look at your chimney. We will be able to properly remove the creosote that has built up, as well as identify any other problems and recommend the best course of action. We can even give you expert advice on how to prevent chimney odors in the future, and let you know if you need any upgrades or replacement parts.
- Invest in a Top-Sealing Damper: A top-sealing damper has a stainless steel lid with a spring loaded plate and a silicone rubber gasket. What does all that mean? That, when closed, it has an airtight and watertight seal. This means it will prevent the penetration of water, the invasion of animals, any unwanted air movement, and debris buildup (all of which create odors) when your chimney is not in use during the summer months.
- Have a Chimney Cap Installed: A rain cap or chimney cap can help to keep water out of your chimney. In addition, it can also prevents animals and debris from getting into your chimney and causing a blockage. A rain cap is the most cost-effective way to keep your chimney free and clear of buildup that can trigger those unwanted smells in your living space.
- Don’t Put Off Repairs: Sometimes odor issues have more to do with the size or shape of your chimney triggering downdrafts. Or it could even be that damages and cracks are present, allowing odors to seep through into your home. In the end, necessary chimney repairs or rebuilds are never something to put off. If you need care, ask about our many helpful repair services today.
Call Our Techs Today
There are numerous reasons why your chimney could be smelling bad, and the best way to figure it out fast is by giving our techs a call. We’ll come out, take a look at your system, then come up with the best plan for moving forward.
Ready to get started? Give us a call at 901-443-1036 or reach out online to schedule a visit today. Thanks for choosing us!