When spring brings warmer temperatures and damp weather, many homeowners are faced with an unpleasant surprise: Foul odors from their chimney. When your home smells, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. To keep chimney odors out of your home, you need to understand and address the source of the smell; often, a simple chimney cleaning or a chimney deodorizer won’t get rid of the problem.
Chimney odors can indicate moisture entering your chimney through the chimney opening or through a leak in the chimney wall. When moisture comes into contact with the soot and creosote in your chimney, it can fill your home with a strong wood-burning smell. Moisture also can cause mold or mildew to form within your chimney, and fill your home with unpleasant damp odors. To help resolve odors caused by moisture, have your chimney fitted with a sturdy chimney cap. The chimney cap keeps water from running down your flue. If your chimney emits odors that seem to be caused by moisture, have the chimney inspected to make sure your chimney isn’t leaking.
Animals are another common cause of chimney odors. Animals make their way into your chimney either by accident or to find shelter. Once they are inside your chimney, animals can cause a host of smells. The organic material used to build nests can decay, leaving behind a compost smell. Animals can leave droppings or bits of food. Trapped animals can die within the chimney, which can lead to a horrible rotting smell. Once an animal is inside your chimney, you will have to have it professionally removed. After the removal, you should get your chimney professionally cleaned. In the case of animal intrusions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: A chimney cap surrounded by a cage or a top-sealing damper can keep animals from entering your chimney in the first place.
An unprotected chimney also can house natural debris, which can decompose in the chimney and cause foul odors to filter into your home. If you don’t have an enclosed chimney cap or a top-sealing damper, leaves and twigs can fall into your chimney, forming blockages that can rot and smell. If you have debris in your chimney, you will need to have the chimney swept. For a long-term solution, protect your chimney with a cap or top-sealing damper.
Regardless of the interior cause of your chimney odor, there is one element that is always to blame for chimney odors filling your home: improper chimney drafting. If odors from your chimney are filling your home, that means that the air inside your chimney is being pulled down into your home. This is a common problem in weatherproofed homes, where the chimney and fireplace can’t get enough air to properly draft up. Your chimney sweep can help you find a solution to improper drafting, and a top-sealing damper or sealed fireplace doors can help keep odors out of your home.
If your chimney is filling your home with unpleasant smells, you don’t have to suffer through it! Call A to Z Chimney Services today. We’ll find the source of your chimney odor and help you find a solution to your odor problem.