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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

Scheduling Tips As Fall Approaches

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost coming to an end and soon it will be time for decorating pumpkins, raking leaves, and watching the trees change to their autumn foliage. Fall also brings cooler weather, which means it will soon be time for cuddling around the warmth of a glowing fire with loved ones. However, you want to be sure that your fireplace is ready to use when you need it. If you wait until the last minute or until a problem arises to schedule a chimney inspection or maintenance appointment, it may be a little more difficult to schedule a time-slot that best fits your schedule. At Old Smokey’s, we want to give you some tips on scheduling a chimney inspection and maintenance appointment for the fall. By following these tips, we can help save you time and headaches of waiting until the last minute.

Picture of a chimney

When should I schedule a chimney inspection or cleaning?

Although you may be a few weeks away from regular fireplace use, now is one of the best times to schedule a chimney inspection. When cold weather starts to set in, there are a lot of people trying to use their fireplace, all at the same time. Naturally, problems that may have occurred and gone unnoticed during warmer months may start to show up when people build a fire for the first time. This means that we get a lot of calls in a short period of time for maintenance issues. This means our schedule time-slots fill up very quickly during these times making it difficult to schedule at a time that fit your schedule best.

The great thing about chimney inspections and cleanings is that they can be done at any time of the year. This means that you don’t have to wait until the fall rush to schedule an appointment. Being proactive and scheduling a chimney inspection or cleaning during the summer will make it a lot easier to schedule a time that is more convenient for you. Scheduling in summer also has a couple of added benefits. First, if there are any issues discovered that need to be addressed, there is plenty of time to get them taken care of. Second, you can be sure that your fireplace will be ready to use the first time you need it when cooler weather sets in.

What are some summer chimney issues?

You may think “my chimney was working fine last time I used it. What could have gone wrong during the summer?” There are a lot of potential problems that could have arisen since your last chimney inspection. Winter is especially tough on your chimney. Wind, freezing temps, and moisture can cause your chimney to erode and crack. The stormy summer weather can also take its toll on your chimney. Also, problems can arise when birds and other nesting animals try to use your chimney for their home during the spring and summer. With so many potential issues, it’s easy to see why it is important to take care of your chimney inspection as soon as possible.

If you are in need of a chimney inspection, now is a great time to schedule one? Beat the fall rush and call Old Smokey’s today to have one of our CSIA certified chimney sweeps inspect your chimney. If you live in northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region, you can reach us at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online today!

Why does my fireplace stink?

Your fireplace brings a warm and inviting ambiance to your home. However, this ambiance can be ruined if your fireplace is producing odors that are unpleasant. There are many reasons why your chimney and fireplace are creating bad smells. Here at Old Smokey’s, we want to help you identify what is causing your chimney odors. Not only that, we can remediate them so you can get back to enjoying your living area.

chimney with smoke against blue sky

What causes chimney odors?

There are many reasons why your chimney and fireplace might be producing odors, but some reasons may be more common than others. One of the more common reasons your fireplace is causing odors is because of something called negative air pressure. Modern homes are built to be as energy-efficient as possible by installing windows and doors that are airtight. This is good for your home’s energy consumption, but it does have one unexpected side-effect. Because there is no air flowing through your home, the air pressure inside your home drops forcing it to draw air from the outside. If your home can’t pull air through doors or windows, it will pull air through the chimney along with any odors inside your chimney.

Pressure Imbalances

There are some things you can do to address pressure imbalance. The easiest solution is to simply open a window to relieve the negative air pressure in your home. This solution only works for a while and once your home builds up negative air pressure again, you will have to open the window again. So, although this relieves air pressure conditions in your home, it is only a short-term solution. Normally, your damper should block moist air from coming down your chimney. If it isn’t, it needs to be replaced. At Old Smokey’s we suggest replacing your old damper with a top-sealing damper. Top sealing dampers will block air from coming down your chimney (as well as rain, animals, and debris) and are very durable.

Chimney Moisture

Chimney moisture is another common cause of chimney odor. When water condenses inside your chimney, it can often cause a musty smell. If condensed moisture is allowed to mix with creosote, it can also cause some pretty intense and offensive odors. If moisture is prevented from getting into your chimney, it can remediate a lot of these issues. There are a lot of reasons why moisture could be entering your chimney. Damaged chimney caps, cracked masonry, and a faulty chimney liner are just a few of the reasons that moisture is entering your chimney. If you notice moisture dripping from your chimney into your fireplace, call us. We can identify the cause of the issue and fix it for you.

There are some other reasons why your chimney could be creating odors including, excessive creosote build-up, dead animals, and rotting vegetation. A lot of odor issues can be identified and resolved by scheduling an annual chimney inspection with one of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) chimney technicians at Old Smokey’s. Don’t let your smelly chimney ruin your home’s ambiance anymore! If you live in the northern Indiana, northern Ohio, or mid-Michigan region, call Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539 or 260-424-0009, or schedule an appointment online to meet with one of our CSIA certified masons today!

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