4 Types of Chimney Smells Not to Avoid

April 1, 2020

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Couple in front of fireplace

You fell in love with your home because of the wood-burning fireplace. You’ve enjoyed winter evenings cozied up in front of the fire with a book and a cup of tea. Now, it’s spring, and you’re wondering why your fireplace doesn’t smell so warm and inviting. Some odors are normal, and you can get rid of them by cleaning. Others may require a call for Acworth fireplace repair. Read today’s post and learn about four chimney smells you shouldn’t ignore.

Does Your Chimney Smell Like a Barbecue?

Spring means barbecue season and all the enticing aromas associated with the grill. It’s normal to smell smoke when you’re cooking out, but if those odors emanate from your fireplace, there’s a problem. Your nose will know this isn’t a smell to ignore. For one thing, it won’t make you crave eating a steak fresh off the grill. This is more like the smell of a barbecue gone bad. It’s a dusty, smoky odor and can smell like hot asphalt. You’ll notice it more on a hot, humid day. A buildup of soot and creosote in the chimney is the likely culprit. Creosote is highly flammable, and it’s responsible for most chimney fires. There’s nothing you can do to prevent the buildup, but you can remove it with a regular chimney cleaning.

The Smell of Fallen Leaves

Notice we didn’t say falling leaves, which most people associate with the arrival of pumpkin spice, Thanksgiving, and throwing the first log of the season on the fire. Fallen leaves smell rotten, and the longer they decompose, the more rotten they smell. If you have leaves and other debris accumulated in your chimney, you should have the chimney swept and a chimney cap installed.

A Chimney Shouldn’t Smell Musty

There’s nothing that can ruin the ambience of your home quicker than a dank, musty odor. Musty or damp smells are common in a basement or attic, but why would a chimney smell like that? Smelling a musty odor in or around your fireplace indicates water got inside the chimney. It’s similar to a leak in your basement floor or wall. Moisture seeps in through a crack in the chimney’s exterior. Your nose might get used to the smell, but ignoring it, could pose a risk for chimney damage. Moisture causes the damper to rust and can also result in damage to the flue lining.

Chimney sweep

Animal Smells and Chimneys

They’re fun to watch from the feeder in your yard, but when birds or squirrels make your chimney their home, they’re not so endearing. There’s a significant difference in the smell of moisture, creosote, leaves, and animals in the chimney. Birds, squirrels, and their raccoon and roof rat buddies can get in through damaged netting on the chimney cap. They’ll nest or hide in the chimney. Between the droppings, food, and nest materials, you can end up with a foul odor. They do sometimes die in the chimney, which makes the smell even worse.

Chimney inspections can help narrow down the cause of odors, and fireplace cleanings will help remove the smell. Scheduling Acworth chimney repair to fix damaged flues and chimney caps can help prevent a chimney fire. It’s wise to have your chimney and fireplace cleaned at least once a year. Contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor today to request a quote. We’re the leading chimney sweep experts in the Atlanta area!

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