What is that Odor Coming from My Chimney and What Can I do About It?

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There are a few things that can cause the odors that are coming from your chimney and the best way to determine what is causing the smell and get rid of it is to call and have your chimney cleaned and inspected. You can use a powerful flashlight and look up the chimney to see if you see anything looking back at you or to see if you see any type of blockage. You may be able to troubleshoot the problem on your own.

Here is what could be causing that awful odor:

  • A collection of leaves, dirt, and sticks can get inside your chimney and as they decompose and mix in with the ash and creosote, they can begin to smell.
  • Animals love to crawl into chimneys, but for some reason, they don’t always like to leave. Any animals that stay will likely die and that is an odor that no one wants in their house.
  • Animal scat is another item that can be found in chimneys and this is something that the animals will leave behind instead of taking with them when they exit your chimney.
  • A huge buildup of creosote can also begin to make your chimney smell. Once the creosote and soot mix with humidity, heat, and water, the smell can be almost intolerable.
  • Water that seeps into your chimney can begin to smell over time, especially when it mixes with the soot.
  • Negative air pressure will bring the air and any odors into your home instead of up and out of the chimney.

As we are cleaning your chimney, we will do an inspection. Between the inspection and the cleaning, we should be able to determine what is causing that awful odor from your chimney. Most of the time, a thorough cleaning is enough to get rid of the smell. However, sometimes we notice that water damage is the cause and then we always recommend that you have your chimney repaired, because that is the only way that the odor will stay out of your chimney.

If we determine that the cause of the odor is negative air pressure, then there are a couple of things that you can do. The first and most logical is to keep the damper to your chimney closed when you are not using it. If this helps a little bit, but there is still some odor, we recommend trying a glass fireplace screen next.

Most odors are preventable and easy to remove. Our professional chimney sweep can assist you if you have an odor and you are not sure where it is coming from.

The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA Certified and we have years of experience under our belts. We strive to continue our education as often as possible so we’re always in the position to offer you the best possible chimney services in Drexel Hill and all along the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to discuss your chimney needs or to schedule an appointment for a chimney cleaning, chimney inspection, or chimney repair.

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