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Why Does My Chimney Smell?

Post by : dminCMC


Not everyone knows to expect weird smells to come down your fireplaces. While it shouldn’t happen regularly, smells and odors can come through occasionally. They are usually a good sign that a chimney inspection is required.

Here are some common reasons why your chimney may be smelling bad.

Image Title: chimney-sweep
Alt-Text: House with chimneys

Negative Air Pressure

Believe it or not, a lot of the smell can come directly from home improvement projects like getting a new roof, installing exhaust systems in the house, or even getting new windows and doors with good sealing capabilities.

All of this creates a sort of negative air pressure that pulls the air and odors from inside the chimney to the inside of the house. This leads to smells that usually do exist within the chimney becoming a lot more prominent inside the house. The best way to deal with this problem is to install a screen in front of the fireplace and maybe replace old and damaged dampers in the chimney. This will prevent air from flowing in from the outside and into your house.

Creosote and Soot Build-up

The more you use your fireplace, the more creosote and soot build-up occurs on the inside of your chimney. With excessive build-up, your chimney will begin smelling like burnt barbeque or tires burning on asphalt.

While normally it is suggested that a yearly inspection and chimney cleaning is enough to keep these deposits from getting out of hand, you might need more regular cleaning if your use of the fireplace is higher than normal. If you switch your fireplace on every day of the cold season, then you might need two to three check-ups in a year.

Excessive Moisture

IF you have a damaged chimney crown or cap, or if one hasn’t been installed at all, then you will usually get excessive moisture inside of your chimney. As with any other closed-off and damp space, the moisture will result in a musty smell that can travel down the chimney and inside of your house. The moisture can also damage the chimney’s structure. It is recommended that sealant be used on the chimney and an undamaged cap or crown be installed to prevent the smell.

If your chimney has a strange smell coming from it, it might be a sign that you need some form of chimney repair or maintenance done. Contact our team of experts at Creative Masonry and Chimney for all sorts of chimney-related services, like fireplace remodelling and masonry repairs.