Fireplace odors can be annoying, but you don’t have to wait for a visit from your chimney sweep to get rid of them. These smells can sometimes indicate problems in your chimney, such as excess creosote or moisture intrusion. If there are no leaks, and the chimney is relatively clean, the only thing you have to deal with is the smoky smell coming from the ash.
Cleaning out the Fireplace
If you want to deal with fireplace odors, getting rid of the ash should be the first step. Here’s a useful tip; sprinkle coffee grounds onto the ash to keep it from lifting into the air as you sweep up. Make sure you have all your tools handy such as:
- Kneeling pad
- Brush and scoop
- Spray bottle with water
- Mild soap
- Rubber gloves
- Paper towels
- Plastic sheet
After making sure that the ashes are cool, start by laying down the plastic sheet in front of the fireplace. Remove the largest pieces first, putting aside any logs that are still usable. Spread the coffee grounds, sweep up the ash and put it in the dustbin. Spray water and soap onto the interior walls to start working on the soot. When you are finished, wipe down the area with the paper towels.
A few odors may still linger, and these tips should help you to keep the area smelling clean. Put a few small bowls with white vinegar in front of the fireplace. The vinegar will absorb some of the odor. You can also find products made for odor elimination in fireplaces. Charcoal pouches can do a good job of absorbing strong odors. Some products work by neutralizing the smells. Fireplace sprays can also work very well to freshen up the space and make odors a thing of the past.
Homeowners always have questions about fireplace sweeping logs. Like other products, some work better than others, but even the best ones will not remove all the creosote. Make sure to ask us about whether chimney sweeping logs are right for you, and which one is the best type available. If the odor persists after you clean the fireplace and use odor neutralizing products, there may be a problem in the chimney itself, so contact us at 610-626-2439 for a full chimney inspection and cleaning.
You should always schedule at least one chimney inspection and cleaning per year. The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) recommends one cleaning and inspection if the chimney is rarely used, two if it is used moderately, and three to four if it is used on a regular basis. Creosote buildup can really sneak up on you, and we all know that creates a potentially dangerous situation.
Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is located in Drexel Hill and provides all types of chimney services throughout the Main Line. Give us a call to schedule a chimney inspection or cleaning with one of our CSIA Certified chimney sweeps.