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Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

What is making my chimney smell?

“Smell” is one of those odd words in English. Your chimney obviously can’t smell in the way that your dog can sniff out fascinating scents. But your chimney can indeed smell in the sense of giving off unpleasant odors.

We suspect you already knew that.

Let Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney Help!

As for the sense of smell, studies suggest that women have a keener sense of smell than men. Children too are said to have an acute awareness of smell. Although Old Smokey’s can’t claim to have a keener sense of smell than anyone else, we do have experience and expertise on chimney and fireplace odors.

Your fireplace or chimney may be giving off an unpleasant odor for several reasons.

The most common cause of chimney odor is creosote buildup. If your chimney smells like tar or asphalt, it’s probably coming from a buildup of creosote on your chimney walls. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, creosote is a “natural byproduct of wood-burning. The odor is usually worse in the summer when the humidity is high and the air conditioner is turned on.” (Note to readers: check your calendar.)

Here’s another possible cause: maybe a critter got caught in your chimney and died. Or perhaps animals left a nest or other remains that decomposed. Animal-related issues are not the most common cause of chimney odors, but they bear looking into, or smelling into.

It is also possible that rotting leaves, small twigs, or other vegetation got lodged in your chimney. That can result in an odor.

Water intrusion is a common cause of chimney odors, especially if a musty odor presents itself as a rude, uninvited guest. Moisture intrusion can damage chimney linings, bricks or mortar.

In the summer, when you are not building fires, air may be coming down the chimney, instead of going up and out. You may need to open a window in the same room or seal off the top of the chimney in the summer.

Instead of speculating, call Old Smokey’s.

A careful inspection by a qualified professional is a common-sense approach to odor control.

Have Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney inspect and sweep your chimney. With or without chimney odors, the CSIA recommends an annual chimney inspection and cleaning.

Our 30+ years of experience testifies to the trust Old Smokey’s has built throughout northeast Indiana, northwest Ohio, and midsouth Michigan. We are proud of the thousands of satisfied customers we have capably served.

Call 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539, or schedule an appointment online. Take a look again at the calendar. This is an optimum time to ferret out the causes of any chimney odors you may be experiencing. We don’t expect to find any ferrets, but you never know.

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