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Chimney Odors

While relaxing in front of a roaring fire is meant to be relaxing, unpleasant chimney odors can dampen your enjoyment. Unfortunately, chimney odor can do more than just lead you to lighting a  Humidity and Your Stinky Fireplace- Boston MA- Billy Sweet Chimney Sweepscented candle; it can also seriously impact the air quality in your home. Because of this, chimney odors should be addressed as soon as possible in order to identify – and repair – the underlying cause of the smell.

What causes chimney odors?

Whether they are mild and barely noticeable or so severe they clear out the entire room, chimney odors are a serious fireplace problem. However, there is no one single cause for chimney odor; below are three of the many causes of stinky chimneys.

  • Animals: Even the smallest birds and mammals can cause major chimney damage – and major odors. Animal droppings, food, nesting materials, or deceased animals can all cause odors as well as expose your family to a variety of bacteria and diseases.
  • Wild animals: Even if the animal has passed away, should be treated with caution as they can carry disease. Chimney companies or wildlife rescue groups are good resources for removing animals as safely and humanely as possible. Homeowners should never attempt to smoke out an animal as this can kill the critters and cause potential chimney fires.
  • Creosote: Ignition of flammable creosote is the leading cause of chimney fire. This naturally occurring byproduct of combustion builds up in the flue when the fireplace is used; certain factors like using green firewood or allowing a fire to smolder can lead to additional creosote production. Because it is so flammable, creosote should be removed during annual chimney sweepings. If left untouched, creosote can cause smoky odors – especially during the hot and humid months of spring and summer.
  • Moisture: Even small amounts of water in the firebox or flue can cause damage – as well as chimney odors. In the dark and enclosed chimney, the presence of water from a chimney leak can lead to mold and mildew growth. In addition to creating a strong, musty odor, mold growth can negatively impact the air quality in your home; those with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory problems are particularly affected by mold or mildew growth in the chimney.

Resolving chimney odors

The best way to resolve a chimney odor is by identifying and fixing the underlying cause. Because there are a number of different causes of chimney odor, a chimney inspection  is often the most effective method of identifying the cause of the problem. In addition to finding the source of the chimney odor, chimney inspections can help identify any additional areas of damage that may need to be repaired.

Chimney odor can affect your home’s air quality – as well as the health and safety of your family. If your home is suffering from uncomfortable chimney odors, don’t delay; call Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your next chimney sweeping or inspection.

Chimney Odor Problem?

Stinky chimney can make your home an unpleasant place to be in. Call us now and we'll have our certified chimney technicians get rid of the odor.

A stinky chimney can make your home an unpleasant place to be in. Call us now and we’ll have our certified chimney technicians get rid of the odor.

It is never fun when you have a stink in your home that you cannot get rid of and are having to constantly mask with air fresheners. The worst part is when you are forced to live with the smell, because it has sunk into your home. Chimneys can produce these types of odors when their maintenance is not up to date. If you feel this is a problem in your home, call the professionals at Clean Sweep of Michigan, Inc.

What causes an odor in a chimney?

Creosote is the number one reason that your chimney will stink. Creosotes are released when untreated wood is burned in your fire. They then clump together on the inside of your chimney, and overtime can soak into the structure and leave the odor behind. This can also cause draft problems where air will not be able to properly leave the chimney. As the weather becomes more hot and humid in the summer, the smell will be more obvious. Your annual sweep that you have with your inspection will help with keeping it to a minimum, but it is recommended that if you are a frequent fireplace user you have an additional sweep.

Another reason your chimney will smell is if mold is growing in the unit. This is most common in areas of brick where there are cracks, or where other pieces of the chimney may not be in working order. Your Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified professional will be able to recognize if this is a potential hazard for you during your inspection. Since mold can grow very fast and in a variety of colors and textures, it is important to ask for help if you see something out of the ordinary. Your technician can introduce you to different ideas on how to better protect your chimney from the elements, including waterproofing. This is when they will spray a coat of sealant on the outside of your chimney that will repel water on contact. If you live in an especially wet climate, you may need more than one coat.

How do you get ready for the sweep?

  • Let your chimney cool down by not having a fire for more than 24 hours before the sweep.
  • Clear the area of anything valuable such as breakables, furniture, etc.
  • Make sure pets are safe and out of the way

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