A chimney odor is far more than an inconvenience; these smells often indicate a far bigger chimney problem. While it may be tempting to spray some air freshener and hope the problem goes away, chimney odors should be addressed by a chimney professional as soon as possible. By having chimney odors diagnosed and repaired your family can begin enjoying using your fireplace again.
What causes chimney odors?
Whether it’s barely noticeable or overwhelming strong, chimney odors can affect your ability to live in your home. Unfortunately, there is no one single cause of chimney odors; chimneys odors are often the symptom of a bigger chimney problem. Because of this, a professional chimney inspection is often needed in order to uncover the cause of the smell. The following are three common causes of chimney odors.
- Animal entry: Animals not only cause sharp, strong, rotting smells; wild animals from the smallest birds to the largest raccoons can all damage your chimney. If you hear scurrying, scratching, or crying coming from within your chimney, it is important to call a wildlife removal specialist or experienced chimney sweep as soon as possible. Nesting materials, food, droppings, or the bodies of dead animals can all cause extremely unpleasant odors, as well as the risk of exposure to bacteria and pests carried by the animals.
Many animals enter the chimney only to become trapped; removing them as soon as possible can reduce damage to the chimney, minimize the chance of chimney odors developing, and give the animal the best chance for survival. Homeowners should never attempt to smoke out trapped animals by starting a fire; not only does opening the damper give the animal access to your home, but the smoke and heat will kill most animals before they have the chance to escape.
- Creosote: An excessive buildup of creosote in the flue causes sharp, smoky odors. These smells are often most noticeable during the hot and humid months of summer as well as when the air conditioning is being used. Getting rid of creosote odor is as easy as getting rid of the creosote; an annual chimney sweeping can remove creosote and make your chimney safer – and less smelly.
- Water entry: A chimney leak can damage your interior and exterior masonry and fireplace components – as well as cause a dank, musty, damp odor. These odors are often caused when water from an unrepaired or undetected chimney leak is not removed. The cool, dark confines of the chimney create ideal conditions for the growth of mold and mildew; not only can this cause unbearable odors, but it can also negatively affect your home’s air quality. Children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems such as allergies and asthma are particularly affected by mold growth in the chimney.
Chimney odors can affect your ability to enjoy your fireplace. By having the smells diagnosed and the cause repaired, you can get back to enjoying your fireplace faster. For more information on diagnosing chimney odors or to schedule a chimney inspection, contact Lords Chimney today.