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Are Odors Coming From Your Chimney?

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 Odor - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services


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.

Animal Intrusions

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.

Improper Drafting

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.

Animal in Your Chimney?

While animals may sometimes be cute and fuzzy, they can cause unmeasured levels of chaos when they enter your home uninvited, especially inside of your chimney.  If you feel like you have something in your chimney, the first step is to not panic, as you could not only hurt the animal but also yourself.  For problems like these, call the professionals at A to Z Chimney.

Squirrel - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

Why do animals go for the chimney?

One of the reasons that animals make their way into a chimney is because they think that the top of the chimney is a hollowed out tree.  Unfortunately because the inside of the chimney is slick, once an animal is inside only a few can make their way out.  Some animals do instead choose to go inside of the chimney to make their homes.  You can tell what kind of animal is in the chimney by the sounds that they make and the noises they make while trying to escape the chimney.  Also, you may hear multiple animals if they have nested and had offspring.

How can you prevent the animals from getting inside?

Chimney caps are the best way to prevent animals from getting inside of your chimney.  Chimney caps are a piece of metal, mesh cover and that has a solid top.  However, before you have these installed you should have an inspection to make sure that there are no animals currently present.  Aside from this, chimney caps can also help keep rainwater out of the chimney and prevent it from rusting the inside.

How do you remove an animal that is in the chimney?

If you think that there is an animal on the inside of the chimney, you should not try to remove it on your own.  If the animal gets frightened it could run and get loose in your home.  Also, animals carry many diseases, which could be given to you.  Many people think that they could flush an animal out with flames and smoke, but this could cause severe burns to the animal, especially if they are physically unable to get out on their own. Bottom line: don’t try this on your own. Call us and we will be happy to advise the best way forward. Dial (916) 850-2446 today to schedule an appointment for animal removal from your chimney with the CSIA certified pros of A to Z Chimney Services in Sacramento, CA.

Yuck! My Fireplace Stinks!

Solving the Odor Problem in Your Fireplace

Do you smell foul odor in your fireplace? Have you ever wondered why this is happening even though you haven’t really been using the fireplace that much? If you HAVE yourself a stinky situation where the fireplace is concerned, then you had better do something about it right away. A sweeping may be in order.

Stinky Fireplace - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

Although the smell is bearable, it can be dangerous to your health. The smoke that was supposed to go out of your chimney and disperse in the air will be able to silently wander around your house. At first, you might think of it as the least of your worries not knowing the harmful toxins it brings which can be life-threatening to you and your family. That is why it is vital to address the problem as soon as possible.

The Causes

There are a number of factors that could create the foul odor. First of all, you have to make sure that the smell is occurring within your fireplace and chimney and not elsewhere. A professional chimney sweep can do the job for you. They will take a good look at it and assess what the root cause of the stench.  The presence of bird nests, spider webs, rotting animals and fallen leaves on top or inside your chimney flues can clog up the passageway where the smoke is supposed to escape from. You might need immediate and thorough cleaning if you are faced with that kind of problem.

Another factor that can cause a stinky fireplace is the build-up of creosote and soot, combined with humid and moisture in your chimney. This happens when snow or rain and anything that has water accumulate in the inside of your chimney flues. Negative air pressure can also lead to an unpleasant smelling chimney. During the winter holidays, people would prefer for doors and windows to be closed thus the limited availability of clean, fresh air to enter the home.

The Solution

Placing chimney caps on top of your chimney will definitely do the trick. This prevents water from seeping into the stone masonry walls of the chimney and to areas that cannot be reached even for professional chimney sweeps. Also, avoid negative air pressure by simply closing your damper when you’re not using your fireplace.

At this point, you know you’re looking for the perfect person to do the job for you. Call the approachable licensed professional sweeps of A to Z Window Screens, Chimney Sweep, & Dryer Vent Cleaning Company. They have the perfect combination of services to not only care for your fireplace but your home as a whole. With them, you can kiss your stinky fireplace goodbye and say hello to a fully functional odorless fireplace.