When Your Chimney Smells Bad
There’s nothing worse than a chimney that stinks. Not only is it unpleasant, but a stinky chimney can also be sign of a bigger problem. Depending on the type of odor, you can distinguish between minor problems which are easy to fix, and major ones that require professional repairs.
Why Does My Chimney Smell Bad?
If your fireplace smells musty or moldy, it’s usually the result of moisture in the chimney. Moisture in the chimney can be caused by a missing or damaged chimney cap, cracks or gaps in the masonry, and other damage that goes unseen. By the time there is a leak or moisture in the chimney, the damage has been done. If you suspect water in your chimney system you should call a chimney professional immediately. Water can cause extensive damage to chimneys if left unchecked.
If your chimney smells smokey, or singed, it most likely indicates a draft problem. This is often caused by smoke coming down the chimney instead of going up to vent. A too-tight house and even other appliances can compete with the ventilation of your chimney and affect how it works. It can be a simple fix, because it’s most likely corrected by opening a window in another part of the house or by shutting off other appliances like fans.
Another cause for a smokey smell is improper burning habits. Things like trash or clothing do not burn completely, do not vent properly, and should never be burned in a fireplace or appliance. Likewise, if you burn improper wood, you will most often get the same effect. When burning cord wood you want to let it dry for a given amount of time. This is called seasoned wood, and it is the best fuel to burn in your wood fireplace or furnace.
Call a Chimney Professional
If you suspect a leak, call a professional right away. Even if the smell disappears with a few changes to help the draft, or by changing the type of wood burned, you should still call a professional. Poor venting causes vapors and gases to rise slowly up the chimney, causing an excess of creosote on the chimney walls. This builds up over time and can become what is called glazed creosote. It’s highly flammable, and troublesome to remove. A CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) is trained and experienced in chimney cleaning, repair, and safety. This should be your first call.
Keep Up With Maintenance
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections in order to maintain the highest level of safety and efficiency for your chimney. It’s during these appointments that a professional will notice a problem with the chimney before it causes major damage. Our certified chimney sweeps at Black Moose Chimney and Stove are experienced with common chimney troubles in South New Hampshire. We offer affordable chimney sweeping, inspections, and repairs, and our priority is always the safety of our customers’ family and property.
Call Black Moose Chimney and Stove or contact us online to have your chimney odor assessed and corrected today. Don’t let another day go by.